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The end of the Israeli occupation would allow all our people, Christians and Muslims, to develop all our potential living side by side.

ICC Note:

The Jerusalem Post reports on the severe and long-standing persecution Palestinian Christians have faced under Israeli occupation and their own government.

By Faysal Hijazeen and Ibrahim Shomali

4/16/2012 Palestinian territories (Jerusalem Post) – Based on our years as parish priests in Palestine, we were appalled by the false allegations regarding Palestinian Christians made in recent weeks by Israeli spokespeople, such as Ambassador Michael Oren.

We were perplexed not because of their position, which has been part of the official Israeli narrative for many years, but by how openly they have distorted facts and misconstrued the plight of Palestinian Christians pursuing justice and peace.

These spokespeople have wrongly propagated a cynical discourse misleadingly touting “Christian persecution by Muslims.” Every Friday, we celebrate the holy mass attended by hundreds of Palestinian Christians from Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jerusalem in the Cremisan Area of Beit Jala. The holy service, celebrated among ancient olive trees, was not a prayer to end a “Muslim-led persecution” but to prevent Israel from confiscating this area of land that belongs to 58 Palestinian Christian families – Israel’s latest attempt to consolidate its ring of settlements that aim to sever Bethlehem from Jerusalem. This is one last attempt to prevent a land confiscation that would have catastrophic consequences for the local Christian population.

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