Said Abu Ali, General Undersecretary for Affairs of Palestine and the Occupied Arab Territories for the Arab League, denounced in a statement that Israel impedes the freedom of access of the faithfuls and keeps them from carrying out their prayers and religious rituals.
“Terrorist attacks against Islamic and Christian holy sites confirm the colonial, racist and fascist nature of the occupying power”, Abu Ali said.
He also criticized Israel’s attempts to change the historical and legal status of the occupied Jerusalem “in the framework of its war against the existence and rights of Palestine.”
The official warned about the repercussions of the escalation against Christian temples, including the restriction of the right to access freely the Church of the Holy Sepulcher this Saturday.
Thousands of faithfuls have gathered for hundreds of years in the area on the eve of Orthodox Easter to perform the “rite of the sacred fire”.
This year, the Israeli authorities ordered that only 1,800 Orthodox and Armenian Christians be allowed to participate in the ritual, escorted by some 200 police agents.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem condemned the “unreasonable restrictions”, a criticism supported by the Armenian Patriarchate of the Holy City.