Jerusalem24 – Today, Thursday, the Israeli Supreme Court in occupied Jerusalem is to issue a decision regarding the petition submitted by Jerusalem Orthodox institutions and personalities after the Israeli authorities imposed restrictions and reduced the number of Christians participating in the “Saturday of Light” celebrations in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
The Arab Orthodox institutions in Jerusalem said, “Orthodox personalities and institutions submitted a petition to the Supreme Court against the decision of the police to restrict the access of Christians to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and to reduce the number of people who celebrate the Holy Saturday on the eve of Easter Sunday, in contravention of the most basic human rights, freedom of worship, and international covenants.” The institutions were represented by lawyers Elias Khoury and Shady Samar.
And they pointed out that “the plaintiffs refused any compromise on the rights of Christians to practice their religious and traditional rites and free access to places of worship without barriers or permits, and a settlement proposal was rejected not to prevent entry to the Old City through the barriers and to allow only four thousand people to access the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and its surroundings. Giving the police the right to close the checkpoints if they so choose.
The Higher Follow-up Committee for the Arabs also condemned the decision of the Israeli authorities and agencies to impose restrictions on the number of entrants to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in occupied Jerusalem, on Holy Saturday, which falls at the end of this week and precedes Easter Sunday, according to the eastern calendar.
The follow-up confirmed that “these restrictions come within the restrictions on the Palestinian presence in his city.”
They added that “the Church of the Holy Sepulcher witnesses severe restrictions on the number of worshipers every year, on Easter holidays, but this year Israel tightened the restrictions, even more, depriving thousands of access to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.”
Their statement also pointed out that “these restrictions come in parallel with the restrictions imposed by Israel on entering the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, and on accessing the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, which confirms that Israel targets all occupied Jerusalem with its Palestinian national and religious identity.”