CMEP Bulletin: Residents, Settlements and Plans in the Holy Land
Anglican Bishop Has Jerusalem Residency Visa Revoked
The Anglican Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, the Rt. Reverend Suheil Dawani, was informed last August by the Israeli Ministry of the Interior that residency permits for himself, his wife and daughter would not be renewed because he “… acted with the Palestinian Authority in transferring lands owned by Jewish people to the Palestinians and also helped to register lands of Jewish people in the name of the Church,” according to a statement issued by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem this week. There were further allegations that documents were forged by the Bishop. The letter also stated that Bishop Dawani and his family should leave the country immediately.
The Bishop has denied all accusations and asked to see the evidence against him. The Interior Ministry has yet to respond in terms of discovering the source of the allegations or restoring residency rights for the Bishop and his family which are crucial to his leadership of the Diocese. .
After months of trying to resolve the dispute privately, including high-level appeals on his behalf, Bishop Dawani is seeking redress through the Israeli legal system. Bishop Dawani now awaits a court date to be assigned for his case. “This is placing huge pressure on my role as Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem as I now have no right to live in the city of which I am the Anglican representative. It directly affects my ministry here as the future of my position remains uncertain,” Dawani told the Episcopal News Service.
A native of the West Bank, Bishop Dawani is not an Israeli citizen and thus needs a permit to continue living in Jerusalem and serving in his post. The Bishop’s case is emblematic of the plight faced by many Palestinians living in East Jerusalem.
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