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Jerusalem Archbishop: ‘Everything Palestinian is targeted by Israel’s occupation’

Archbishop of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Atallah Hanna [centre], seen during a protest in the West bank city of Hebron January 22, 2015 [Muhesen Amren / ApaImages]
Archbishop of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Atallah Hanna [centre], seen during a protest in the West bank city of Hebron January 22, 2015 [Muhesen Amren / ApaImages]

The Palestinian Archbishop of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Atallah Hanna, said yesterday that “everything Palestinian in Jerusalem is targeted by the Israeli occupation”.

During a meeting with a delegation from Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders, MSF), Hanna explained the dangers threatening Palestinians’ existence and identity in the Holy City, Al-Wattan Voice reported.

“Everything is in danger in Jerusalem,” Hanna said, adding: “The Islamic and Christian holy sites and endowments are targeted in order to change our city, hide its identity and marginalize our Arabic and Palestinian existence.”

Hanna added that “recently, the Israeli occupation cancelled a planned celebration on the 50th anniversary of establishing Al-Maqased Hospital,” noting that the Israeli occupation had cancelled many other Palestinian events planned to take place in Jerusalem.

Read: 14 Palestinians homeless as Israel forces 2 Jerusalem homes to be torn down

The Archbishop said that Palestinians “are living under severe torture and harsh persecution,” pointing to Israel’s closure of Palestinian institutions in the city. “It seems that they wanted us to give up Jerusalem and submit to their polices, measures and practices,” he added.

Hanna continued: “Jerusalem is for us and will remain for us. We will never give up our rights in Jerusalem and we will defend it against Israeli oppression.”

Addressing the MSF staff, he said: “We want you to know closely the suffering of the Palestinians and the oppression inflicted by the Israeli occupation on them in Jerusalem. We want our message to reach all the people around the world as we want more friends for the Palestinians.”

Read: Israeli forces detain secretary of Fatah in Jerusalem

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