Israel will grant 500 entry permits to Gazan Christians so that they can visit relatives that they might have in Israel.
Israel’s Coordinator of Government Operations in Judea and Samaria, General Rassan Aliyan, held a traditional church tour of Jerusalem, with the participation of the head of the Civil Administration, Brigadier General Fares Atila, the leaders of the Christian community and the Vatican Ambassador to Israel. The tour is held in preparation for the Christian community’s celebration of Christmas next month.
During the tour, General Aliyan met with various representatives of the Christian community including the Custos, the Latin Patriarch, the Greek Patriarch and the Vatican Ambassador. General Aliyan also welcomed the “fruitful cooperation” between the Christian community and the unit for coordinating government activities in these areas and informed the community leaders that he approved a series of civilian measures for the Christian population in Judea and Samaria ahead of Christmas.
The General also referred to the very small Christian community in Gaza, which is no longer under the authority of the State of Israel. These Christians are now under the rule of a Hamas led regime there. Israel will grant 500 entry permits to Gazan Christians so that they can visit relatives that they might have in Israel. And 200 Christians from Gaza will be able to cross the Allenby Bridge into Jordan.
The measures implemented for Christian Arabs living in Judea and Samaria include the issuance of an additional 15,000 entry permits to Israel to those who are not holders of Israeli citizenship, which would allow them to enter Jerusalem or Nazareth on the holiday. There will also be an increase in the quota of permits for church workers.
General Aliyan said. “After last year’s Christmas celebrations were held in a different format following the Corona plague, this year we were able to advance a series of steps for the Christian population in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip for the holiday.”
“The Government Coordination Unit in Judea and Samaria will continue to work to promote freedom of worship and religion for the various populations and religions in the region,” he added.
The general went on to wish every Christian in Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip and in general, a “healthy and safe year, full of prosperity and success, in which we can celebrate and enjoy and at the same time, preserve ourselves and those close to us.”