Tuesday, Jan. 22
Latest News
  1. Tensions rise in Israeli prisons after two-day raid at Ofer
  2. CEC concludes project on empowerment of women political participation
  3. Italy donates €1.5 million to UNRWA
  4. Israeli court issues lien on land in Jerusalem belonging to Arafat
  5. Undercover Israeli forces kidnap Palestinian in Bethlehem
  6. Palestinian demolishes own shop in Issawiya to avoid Israeli fines
  7. Israel delivers demolition notices to Palestinian homes in Issawiya
  8. Erekat: 'PA informs US to stop sending security aid'
  9. Israeli tanks open fire in northern Gaza
  10. Israel opens new Eilat airport for 'times of conflict'

Erekat: Israel hijacking Christmas for political gain

Dec. 3, 2010 10:34 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 4, 2010 10:32 A.M.)
JERICHO (Ma'an) -- "The Israel Ministry of Tourism has hijacked Christmas for political purposes," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said Thursday, denouncing the occupying nation for hosting a pre-Christmas reception in East Jerusalem.

The reception, set for 6 December, will see diplomats, heads of churches and other community members gather in the city to mark the start of the holiday season.

"This is yet another display of the lengths that Israel is willing to go to distract the world from its policies of dispossession against the Palestinian people," the official said in a statement, on the one hand hosting events to celebrate the Christian holiday, while on the other continuing to "sever the ancient link between Jerusalem and Bethlehem through the construction of the Wall and the expansion of settlements surrounding Bethlehem, including Har Homa and Gilo."

The isolation of Jerusalem from its West Bank neighbors, separating holy sites, families and religious networks, was condemned by Erekat, who said "we seek an open Jerusalem as the capital of two states, where free access to all holy sites is guaranteed."

In contrast, he added, "Israel continues its plan to make Jerusalem an exclusive Jewish city."

Using Christmas as an event to deepen the separation of the holy land, Erekat said, was doing a disservice to the holiday. "Christmas should be a day of good will and should not be tainted with unlawful actions of a military occupation."
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015