Head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, Archbishop Atallah Hanna, said yesterday that the Israeli occupation is treating Christian and Muslim worshippers harshly.
During a visit by a delegation of Orthodox pilgrims who are visiting Palestine to commemorate Holy Saturday and Easter, he said: “You are welcome. Your existence with us during this blessed season gives us strength and consolation.”
“Your visit is a message of solidarity and support for the Christians in our country, as well as all the people [of Palestine] in general.”
The archbishop continued: “Your visit to Palestine supports our economy as all hotels in Jerusalem and Bethlehem are occupied by pilgrims who are coming for prayers at Jerusalem’s Church of Holy Sepulchre.”
About the Israeli violations, he said: “You saw what happened with your eyes during the Holy Saturday. This is an example of the suffering the Palestinian Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem are enduring.”
“This is the harsh treatment of the state that claims to be democratic and a distinctive model of human rights. What we see on the ground is completely different.”
On Saturday, Israeli occupation forces attacked Christian Palestinians during Holy Saturday commemorations. This comes amidst Israeli government-imposed restrictions on visits by Christians to Jerusalem’s Church of Holy Sepulchre.