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Palestinian government calls for international protection for Jerusalem churches

Christian worshipers pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre [File photo, Saeb Awad/Apaimages]

The Palestinian Government of National Accord confirmed that the Israeli occupation authorities have imposed taxes on places of worship, including churches, which led to the closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is considered as a new aggression targeting the city of Jerusalem and all the Palestinian Arab people. It affects the sanctity of its holy sites and may even lead to far more serious consequences that can put church land property at risk of being confiscated.

A Palestinian spokesman called for urgent international intervention to stop these Israeli practices, which constitute a blatant attack on all international agreements, conventions and customs that guarantee the freedom of worship and respect the holiness of the religious place under all circumstances and wherever it is found. He also called on the Christian and the Muslim people to act on all levels in order to stop the occupation procedures that target both Christian and Islamic holy sites.

The official spokesman stressed that we have not seen the closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher or any place of worship in Palestine throughout the different ages and historical periods, except during the occupation and the invasion of our country. The official spokesman continued that the Palestinian Arab people have been living in their country and the land of their ancestors since the dawn of history based on the culture of love, brotherhood, cooperation, respecting others and respecting religions. The spokesman added "The closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher affects the feelings of all our people and our Arab nation, which is unacceptable and disrespectful and will not be accepted by our Arab people."

Read: 53 attacks on mosques and churches in Israel produce seven convictions

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