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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Articles related to Beit Jala


West Bank: Seats reserved for Christians in local elections
West Bank: Seats reserved for Christians in local elections

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has confirmed the number of seats reserved for each city to Christian candidates with a presidential decree, ahead of the municipal elections scheduled for 13 May. According to the decree, dated 15 March, eight seats out of 15 will be reserved to Christian candidates in the municipal councils in Ramallah and Bethlehem, and

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Holy Land: EU representatives witness construction of Separation Wall through Cremisan Valley
Holy Land: EU representatives witness construction of Separation Wall through Cremisan Valley

On Thursday, May 26, 2016, European Union Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah visited the area of Beir Onah near the Cremisan valley where they saw the ongoing construction of the Separation Wall. The Society of St Yves, the Catholic Centre for Human Rights, briefed the EU Heads of Mission about the legal, political, economical and social aspects of building the wall. Mr Ralph Tarraf, EU the Head of Delegation of the EU Assistance to the Palestinians, then conveyed His Beatitude Fouad Twal's message,

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Holy Land: Catholic parishes and schools switch to solar energy
Holy Land: Catholic parishes and schools switch to solar energy

Schools, parishes and other institutions of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem are switching to solar power. After a successful pilot project launched two years ago in Palestine in the patriarchal schools in Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and Ramallah, the Patriarchate has now announced that it will be installing solar panels in the schools of the Jordanian city of Wasiyeh, Madaba and Karak. A spokesman for the Patriarchate said the introduction of solar power energy systems reduces electricity bills and saves money for other activities.

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Holy Land: land taken, ancient olive trees uprooted in Cremisan Valley
Holy Land: land taken, ancient olive trees uprooted in Cremisan Valley

Five months have gone by since the land in the area of Beir Onah, next to the monastery in Cremisan, was confiscated by the State of Israel. In August, bulldozers uprooted 50 olive trees which were as old as 1500 years in order to continue the construction of the separation wall. An account of the latest developments of the "Cremisan case", connected to the construction of the separation barrier imposed by the Israeli authorities, and built largely on Palestinian land, were published by the official media of the Latin Patriarchate.

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Holy Land Christians celebrate Our Lady of Palestine
Holy Land Christians celebrate Our Lady of Palestine

The feast of Our Lady of Palestine on Sunday was an occasion to pray for peace in the Holy Land. About 300 people gathered in Der Rafat for a solemn Mass animated by seminarians of Beit Jala. Because of the current security situation fewer people were able to attend than last year. There were fervent prayers peace and prayers for Patriarch Fouad Twal, who was in Rome for the Family Synod. Mgr Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Nazareth presided over the Mass in the church of Der Rafat, in presence of Mgr William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem,

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Bethlehem: Monastery set on fire
Bethlehem: Monastery set on fire

There was a major fire at the monastery of Mar Charbel in Bethlehem at the weekend. Many rooms were ablaze on Saturday and various parts of the building have been badly damaged. There were no reports of injuries. In the aftermath of the fire, the governor and the mayor of Bethlehem, the chief of police, the national security director and the head of Intelligence, went and inspect the monastery accompanied by Mgr William Shomali, and a number of priests from Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour.

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Holy Land: Court reverses decision, approves Separation Wall through Cremisan
Holy Land: Court reverses decision, approves Separation Wall through Cremisan

Leaders of the small Catholic community in the Holy Land have reacted with dismay to a decision by Israel's Supreme Court to allow the building of the separation barrier through the historic Cremisan Valley. Following a series of international appeals, the court in April blocked plans by the Israeli military to extend the wall through the valley which is home to two Salesian monasteries and a convent school. Under the latest ruling, those religious buildings will remain on the Palestinian side of the wall... while land belonging to 58 Palestinian families will be cut off on the Israeli side

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Holy Land: International bishops  visits Cremisan Valley
Holy Land: International bishops visits Cremisan Valley

The 16 Bishops of the Holy Land Coordination that brings together Bishops and representatives of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe and North America are visiting Palestine and Israel. Yesterday, Tuesday,13 January they reached the Cremisan Valley, at the centre of a long legal dispute between the owners of the land and the Israeli authorities. During the visit the Bishops were welcomed by Fr Faisal Hijazin, pastor of Beit Jala, and exchanged views with lawyer Raffoul al-Mutawakkil of the Society of St Yves 

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Holy Land: US Consul visits Cremisan Valley threatened by  separation wall
Holy Land: US Consul visits Cremisan Valley threatened by separation wall

The American Consul General in Jerusalem, his Excellency Mr Michael Ratney, visited the Cremisan Valley in Beit Jala on Friday, accompanied by representatives from the Society of St Yves, the Catholic Centre for Human Rights, who briefed him on the latest developments in the legal case against building the separation wall in Cremisan. The Consul General visited the Salesian Sisters Convent which is represented in the case St Yves lawyers, Advocate Zvi Avni and Advocate Dalia Qumsieh.

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Middle East: Churches begin period of prayer and fasting for peace
Middle East: Churches begin period of prayer and fasting for peace

The Christian community across Palestine has entered into a period of prayer and fasting for peace in the region. This evening, Friday 1 August, in the parish of St James in Beit Hanina a Mass for peace and for the end of the war was celebrated by Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. In the afternoon, Father Mario Cornioli, a priest in Beit Jala, celebrated the weekly Mass under the olive trees of the Cremisan Valley and then together with the faithful recited the rosary in front of the Separation Wall built by 

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Pope Francis sends personal message to Christians of Gaza
Pope Francis sends personal message to Christians of Gaza

Pope Francis has written a personal message to the parish priest of Gaza, Father Jorge Hermandez, a fellow Argentinian, saying he is keeping the territory’s Christian community in his prayers. In his message the Pope offered words of comfort and assured them he was praying for them all. Father Mario Cornioli, the parish priest of Beit Jala in the West Bank, had earlier informed the Pope of the extremely challenging situation facing the tiny Christian community in Gaza and all the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip

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Bethlehem: Last Mass on monastic land under threat of seizure
Bethlehem: Last Mass on monastic land under threat of seizure
The last weekly open-air Mass was held at Beit Jala near Bethlehem, on Friday in an area threatened by Israel's Separation Wall, as locals awaited a court decision on an appeal to halt the land seizure. Around 60 Palestinians, internationals and representatives of the Catholic, Orthodox and Lutheran churches gathered on an olive tree-covered hilltop in the Cremisan Valley to pray for a halt to the massive concrete wall, which is set to annex the entire lush green area north of Beit Jala.
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EU protests as Separation Wall threatens to cut off school and monastery
EU protests as Separation Wall threatens to cut off school and monastery
The European Union has expressed concern about the ongoing construction of Israel's separation wall in the Bethlehem area on Friday. "The EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah are concerned by the construction of the Separation Barrier, east of the Green Line, in the Cremisan Valley (Beit Jala)," a statement reads. "When completed along the planned route, the barrier will separate 58 families from their agricultural land and children from their school at the Salesian convent,
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International bishops committee 'dismayed' at Israeli plan to build Separation Wall in Cremisan Valley
International bishops committee 'dismayed' at Israeli plan to build Separation Wall in Cremisan Valley
"The Holy Land Coordinating Committee notes with dismay the decision of the Israeli Special Appeals Committee endorsing the route of the Separation Wall which will have the effect of separating the Salesian Sisters Convent, the Sisters' school and the lands of 58 Palestinian families from Beit Jala to the Israeli settlement area of Gilo. "We have visited the Cremisan Valley on several occasions and have a keen sense of the difficulties for Palestinians that will flow from this decision. These include the damage to the land
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Holy Land: Salesians 'deplore' decision to build Separation Wall in Cremisan Valley
Holy Land: Salesians 'deplore' decision to build Separation Wall in Cremisan Valley
The Salesian Province of the Middle East strongly deplores the verdict given by the Israeli Commission for Objections on 24 April 2013 regarding the dividing wall in the Cremisan area. The above mentioned commission has approved the route indicated for the wall in the plans drawn up by the Israeli Authorities, rejecting the position of the said Salesian Province and of the families of the town of Beit Jala. The Salesians of the Middle East continue to support the position of the families of the town of Beit Jala,
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Pope receives Israeli President: hopes for 'speedy resumption' of peace talks
Pope receives Israeli President: hopes for 'speedy resumption' of peace talks
Pope Francis received Israeli President Shimon Peres in a private audience today. The Vatican issued the following statement following the meeting: 'Today in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Excellency Mr Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel. President Peres then went on to meet with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
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Holy Land: appeal for prayers from community in danger
A Christian Palestinian writes: For more than a year, and regardless of the weather conditions, we have been conducting a religious service at Cremisan, Beit Jala, every Friday. The aim is to pray for peace and justice, against oppression and attempts to take over more of our land through illegal enterprises, including building the Wall and settlements. Within a month, we'll have a resolution from one of the occupation courts. Now, we need more prayers and political work than ever.
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