The Higher Follow-up Committee in the occupied Palestinian territory stated Thursday, April 13, 2023, that the Israeli occupation’s attempts to harass those celebrating the “Sabbath of Light” in occupied Jerusalem are an Israeli siege of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The committee indicated, in a statement, that the Israeli occupation limited the number of Palestinian worshipers in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to a much lower rate than what the church has witnessed for many years.
It pointed out that the Israeli occupation allowed the entry of no more than 1,800 Palestinians to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the “Sabbath of Light”, including clerics, nuns, and working staff.
The heads of churches in Jerusalem affirm that the church, its courtyards, and its surroundings are capable of accommodating more than 10,000 people, according to the follow-up committee’s statement.
It warned that the occupation measures “mean denying thousands of access to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, on this day, considered one of the most sacred days for the Christian communities.”
The Israeli occupation also prevented Christians from the Gaza Strip entirely from coming to Jerusalem and praying there on the occasion of the holiday.