CAIRO – 24 July 2017: Archbishop of the Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, Atallah Hanna, said on Saturday that the Palestinian churches are in solidarity with Al-Aqsa Mosque against the Israeli violations including closing the mosque and installing metal detectors at entry points of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Archbishop's statement was made to the media after he visited the injured Palestinians in Jerusalem hospitals.
The Archbishop called on all Islamic and Christian religious authorities to support the Palestinian people, while the holy sites are being targeted and the people are attacked in the streets and their homes. He said, “where are those who speak about human rights, where are those who defend freedoms, where are those who call for preserving the places of worship and the freedom of worship? The Palestinian people will not give in to any pressures, policies or practices aimed to undermine the status of Jerusalem and its sanctities and the just Palestinian cause.”
He also said that all Palestinian churches will pray for Al-Aqsa, Jerusalem and the people of Palestine. He also confirmed that Palestinian Christians participate in all activities and protests calling for opening Al-Aqsa Mosque and removing the metal detector.
"There is no dignity without Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa. Any attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque is an attack on the Holy Sepulcher Church," said Hanna.
The Archbishop said that the Israeli Occupation seizes the Palestinian internal fragmentation and the conflicts in the Arab countries to pass its political agenda, adding that the current situation in Jerusalem is the worst since 1967. He also called for immediate release of all arrested Palestinians while protesting against the Israeli violations in Jerusalem, and said that the Israeli Occupation is responsible for the escalation in the holy city.
"We reiterate our position and demand to remove all metal detectors from the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque so that the worshipers can enter unconditionally, stop your aggression and your racism. We committed to our rights and will not retreat from these positions.”
"We are advocates of peace; the peace of Jerusalem and the peace of freedom and dignity and the return of rights to its beholders. Christians and Muslims in the Holy City will continue to defend their unity and will defend the Holy City.”
Video description: Christians and Muslims protest in solidarity with al-Aqsa Mosque in front of the Ministry of Awqaf in the city of Ramallah - Palestine
Archbishop, Atallah Hanna, is the only Orthodox Christian archbishop from Palestine stationed in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, while all other bishops of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem are Greeks. The Israeli authorities had detained him several times, or stopped him at the border.