Beit Jala – 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. Even Father Aktham Hijazin, pastor of Beit Jala, in the Christmas letter to his parishioners talks about the issue. In the past three months – he says among other things in the letter – both the protests and the rosary and liturgical celebrations that were held every week in the vicinity of the separation wall were suspended, because of the violence and tensions in the Holy Land in order to ensure the safety of pe rsons. Last October, the Israelian defense forces prohibited the olive harvest to farmers in the region of Beir Onah, applying to the area the definition of “closed military zone”, while Israeli bulldozers continued the uprooting of olive trees. In his Christmas letter, Father Hijazin says that landowners in Beir Onah and those living the same situation in Beit Jala are in a desperate situation.
He reaffirms that the uprooting of olive trees and land confiscation prevent owners access to their property, and that every possible attempt must be made to stop the construction of the separation wall with legal means. This year – writes the Latin parish priest of Beit Jala in his letter – my message for Christmas is to look for love and mercy. God’s love and salvation. I ask people to love one another, because love is the path which leads to peace between Palestinians and Israelis”.
Source: Fides News