Gazan Christian do not yet have permits to visit Jerusalem for Easter

FILE PHOTO: A worshipper lights a candle as she visits the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City
A worshipper lights a candle in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City, Jan 22, 2018. (photo: Ammar Awad / Reuters)

Gaza has only 1,000 Christians among a population of 2 million in the narrow coastal strip.

By Stephen Farrell | Reuters | Mar 27, 2018


“Israel is a sovereign state and it has the right to decide who will enter its gates. No foreign residents have an inherent right to enter Israel, including Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip.”
— Civil Administration (COGAT) spokesman


The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said church authorities had applied for around 600 permits for Gazans to travel, but had not received any, three days before Good Friday.

Israel tightly restricts movements out of the Gaza Strip, territory controlled by Hamas, an Islamist group that it considers a terrorist organization.

The Israeli military-run authority that operates in the West Bank defended its policy to restrict access as many Palestinians had stayed on illegally in the past, and said it would only issue permits to people aged at least 55.

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