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French FM calls for release of Palm Sunday detainees

March 30, 2010 10:15 P.M. (Updated: March 31, 2010 12:49 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - A French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs representative called for the release of Palm Sunday detainee Abbas Zaki and his compatriots detained by Israeli forces during a peaceful protest.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday a representative said "Abbas Zaki, member of Fatah Central Committee, was arrested Sunday with a dozen other people during a peaceful march from the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to the Checkpoint of the 'Tomb of Rachel.'

"The march was organized by a Christian NGO, to protest against the restrictions of access to Jerusalem imposed on Palestinian Christians during the Palm Sunday.

"We call for the release of Abbas Zaki and people arrested during a peaceful demonstration in support of freedom of access to the Holy City for a major Christian religious holiday."

Christians denied entry into Jerusalem because of a West Bank closure on the occasion of Jewish Passover demonstrated Sunday against Israel's infringement on their freedom of worship. Peaceful protesters crossed the separation wall when a steel door in the barrier opened to let military vehicles into the West Bank. More than a dozen were detained and remain in Israeli custody.
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