Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Press Release, Campaign for the Right of Entry, 25 December 2007
"As the world celebrates this holiday season, Israel is blocking clergy from reaching their churches and Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem and elsewhere in the Holy Land. These Israeli actions are in blatant violation of international humanitarian law, block the right for religions to practice in the Holy Land, and defy every notion of basic common sense.
The Israeli authorities are arbitrarily denying entry to clergy and volunteers belonging to or working for Christian institutions and service providers. The clergy being harassed and denied entry to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) join tens of thousands of ordinary foreign passport holders of Palestinian and non-Palestinian origin who wish to be with their families, work or study, as well as tourists and pilgrims. This is especially sad at a time of spiritual reflection and reunion of families, friends and communities when major celebrations of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities coincide over the same period......."