Israeli soldiers located at the checkpoint on the entrance to the Village of Ein Arik near Ramallah prevented this afternoon Patriarch Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, from entering the mentioned village, despite learning who is the Patriarch and seeing his Holy See Diplomatic passport and his VIP Card given to His Beatitude by the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs. www.hcef.org Press Release Israeli Soldiers prevented Patriarch Michel Sabbah from entering Ein Arik during a pastoral visit Jerusalem, Friday 9 March 2001 Israeli soldiers located at the checkpoint on the entrance to the Village of Ein Arik near Ramallah prevented this afternoon Patriarch Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, from entering the mentioned village, despite learning who is the Patriarch and seeing his Holy See Diplomatic passport and his VIP Card given to His Beatitude by the Israeli Ministry of Religious Affairs. It is good to add that the Patriarch, who was accompanied by the parish priests of Ramallah, was planning to celebrate Mass at the Parish Church of Ein Arik this evening. The Israeli Soldiers at the mentioned checkpoint refused even to listen to explanations provided by Father Giovanni Cinti Parish priest of Ein Arik, but obliged him to sit on the floor for sometime before releasing him. Patriarch Sabbah couldn’t succeed to enter yesterday also the village of Bir Zeit north of Ramallah, for celebrating Mass, since the village was disconnected by Israeli Army from all its surroundings. We consider this incident as a clear violation not only of diplomatic relations and agreements between the Holy See and the State of Israel, but a clear violation of the basic human rights of freedom of movement. We really wonder if such incidents happen to a senior clergyman, so how is the daily life of the regular Palestinian citizens. We appeal on the International community to enforce pressure on the State of Israel to stop and put an end to the actual siege and closure of almost all the Palestinian villages and towns that is achieved by cutting them from one another, and making them like small cells in a larger prison, which is not acceptable legally, morally, and humanly. We are sure that this policy of collective punishment will not lead to justice and peace, will not end violence they produce nothing tangible for Israel or Israelis. They also do not increase security nor hasten the possibility of a negotiated settlement. Justice and only justice is the only solution for a real peace and security. We repeat and call upon all of our friends all over the world to make their voices heard to exert the utmost pressure upon their governments and the government of Israel to stop these illegal measures of collective punishment. Otherwise, we will face the brink of disaster. Fr. Raed Abusahlia Chancellor, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem ==================== Subscribe to any of our lists at: subscribe/ unsub/ http://www.al-bushra.org/subscribe.htm Tell your friends about: Al-Bushra And www.Jerusalem2000.org “… Thus says the Lord God of Israel: You shed blood, yet you would keep possession on the land? You rely on your sword, you do abominable things…yet you would keep possession of the land?… Prophet EZEKIEL 33:25-28 ” And Jesus said: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you … Luke 6:27-38)