Patriarchs and Heads of Churches Protest to the Closure Measures at Jaffa Gate
[The following is the communiqué of the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, who raise their voices in protest to the closure measures that are taken by the Israeli Police at Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.]
We, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, raise our voices in protest against the closure measures being taken by the Israeli Police at Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Every year, we write to the authorities to express our frustration with the frequent closure of Jaffa Gate, which is the only access to our Patriarchates, Churches and Convents. Instead of finding solutions to these interruptions that cause great inconvenience and disruption, the situation has gone from bad to worse.
The latest incidents we encountered took place during the “Festival of Lights” when many of our priests, including some of us (the leaders of the Churches) were unable to drive through Jaffa Gate to our homes and Churches. We were held for more than an hour at the Gate waiting to be allowed in.
This is most unacceptable for us, for the pilgrims and all residents of our neighborhood!
We call upon the municipality and police to find practical ways to ensure constant and uninterrupted access through Jaffa Gate, especially, that there are more than forty days that various events take place outside Jaffa Gate during the year.
We hope that this will find listening ears and decisive actions, so that these folkloric and creative events will not negatively affect the life and ministry of our Churches. Thank you for your understanding and forthcoming cooperation in this matter.