Hundreds of Christian Palestinians from the Gaza Strip will travel to celebrate Easter in Bethlehem and occupied East Jerusalem after the Israeli authorities agreed to grant them permits, a Palestinian Authority official said Saturday.Ma'an Arabic adds that the permits include Christians aged 16 to 35, which has not happened before.
Muhammad al-Maqadma, a public information officer for the Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs, told Ma’an that Israel had granted around 850 permits to Gaza Christians of different ages to travel to the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Al-Maqadma said the permits were the result of “dedicated efforts” by Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh in order to enable hundreds of Christians to celebrate the holidays within a span of 45 days.
This is the first time such a large number of Christians from Gaza received permits to travel to the West Bank and Jerusalem, al-Maqadma added.
This happens after Israel revoked permits for Muslim Gazans to go to Jerusalem every Friday, saying that many of them never returned to Gaza and thereby violated agreements that allowed them to go in the first place.
It shows that even after such a violation, Israel keeps trying to accommodate the legitimate needs of Palestinians while protecting its own security. And too often, these accommodations end up being big mistakes.
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