christians celebrating holy fire ceremony
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Israeli restriction on “Holy Fire” ceremony

Tens of thousands of Christians from around the world arrived in Palestine, in order to participate in the ‘Holy Fire’ ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher one of the most sacred sites for Christians around the world.

Yesterday 23-3-2022 The Israeli occupation forces prevented Christians from freely accessing the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to attend the ‘Holy Fire’ ceremony.

Earlier, the occupation forces closed the gate leading to the Old City of occupied Jerusalem, through which the celebrants enter the city.

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 Large numbers of the Israeli police and border guards were deployed in and inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher’s courtyard.

Israel violates the rights of Christians

According to witnesses, Israeli restrictions hindered the access of other numbers of Palestinian Christian celebrants to the church to attend the ceremony of Holy Fire, and there were several skirmishes between the police and revellers at the checkpoints imposed by the police in the city.

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 Christian pilgrims from Egypt confirmed that they were beaten and attacked by the Israeli occupation police.

 They added that they waited to enter the Church for hours, yet the occupation did not allow them to reach the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

In addition to the assault, Israeli forces also assaulted a priest while he was on his way to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

The celebration continues

 Despite strict Israeli restrictions, thousands celebrated the outpouring of Holy Light inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Yesterday, more than 150,000 Palestinians performed the third Friday prayer of the blessed month of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque, despite strict Israeli restrictions.

The tension between Israel and Christians

Yesterday, representatives of the Christian community in occupied Jerusalem warned of the danger of the Israeli decision to impose restrictions on Christian worshipers entering the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to attend holy fire ceremony, according to the “Israel Hayom” newspaper.

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 This issue adds to the tension between Israel and Christian members of the Greek Orthodox Church, especially against the background of the dispute over the Petra hotels to the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.