|15:49 - BENEDICT XVI: PRESIDENT OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY MAHMOUD ABBAS RECEIVED IN AUDIENCE |
| “Cordial discussions” at the Vatican between Benedict XVI and Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, today. As reported by the Holy See Press Office, the audience provided the context to recall “the Holy Father's own recent trip to the Holy Land”. Then the dialogue focused on the situation in the Middle East and, in particular, on the need “to find a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which the rights of everyone are recognised and respected. In this context, emphasis was given to the importance of co-operation and mutual respect between the parties involved, and of the support of the international community”. Reference was also made “to the situation of Catholics in Palestine, and in the region more generally, and to the contribution they make to social life and to peaceful coexistence among peoples”. After the audience President Abbas went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone who was accompanied by Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. |
|15:29 - HOLY LAND: SABBAH (FORMER PATRIARCH) “A SPECIAL STATUS FOR JERUSALEM” |
|“A special status for Jerusalem that guarantees the rights of all citizens, and at the same time guarantees freedom of access to all pilgrims”. It has been asked by Michel Sabbah, former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem on the occasion of a recent pastoral visit (23rd September) to the local American Arab Catholic community of the Los Angeles area. During his lecture on the theme “Jerusalem, city of Peace”, issued only yesterday by the Latin Patriarchate, Sabbah points out that “any political power that governs Jerusalem must take into consideration this universal vocation of the city and give it this special status guaranteeing the rights of citizens, as capital for the Palestinian state, as well as capital for the Israeli state, and as spiritual capital for humanity”. “Whoever governs Jerusalem – states the former patriarch - has the duty to take into account all this past and universal history without falling into an egoistic, nationalist view that excludes others, imposing a reality that works against the survival of all identities with equal rights and duties and condemns the city to remaining a source of war||”. ) |
Army Bans Land of Israel Activists From Home
Early Monday morning, IDF Central District Commander Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni issued orders banning two prominent Land of Israel activists from returning to their homes, or anywhere in the Shomron (Samaria), for the next six months. The two are Ariel Gruner and Akiva HaCohen, both fathers of four children and residents of Yitzhar in the Shomron.
This is not the first time for either of them: In July 2006, Gruner - whose youngest son is now ten days old - was placed in prison for seven weeks under administrative detention orders generally employed against Arab terrorists. He was then placed under “caravan arrest” in a small Jordan Valley community for three months, followed by a three-month ban on entering Judea and Samaria. In August 2008, HaCohen was banned from the Shomron, where he lives, for four months.
A Third Expellee
Several hours later, Shamni issued similar orders against a third Yitzhar resident, Eliav Eliyahu, 19, who has been married for less than a year.
The official explanation for the latest orders: “Information has been received of their involvement in violent and illegal activity… and in light of the genuine danger foreseen from them to security and public order.”
The Shomron Residents Committee responded, “This decision by Gen. Shamni to distance two young men from their families for six months with the weak excuse of ‘danger’ is an evil, arbitrary, cruel and brutal move. The radical left has taken over the top brass of the Central Command, making intolerable use of their authority and power, and the Prime Minister and the Cabinet ministers of the nationalist camp must put an end to this phenomenon.”
Worse Conditions than Prisoners
David Ha'ivri, Director of the Shomron Liaison Office, said: "The forced banishment of men who are providers for their families causes unfair damage to their income and disrupts their families' well-being... If there is credible evidence of any wrongdoing, let a trial take place; extrajudicial moves have no place in Israel's legal system. Moreover, we demand that all expenses such as loss of livelihood, etc., be covered by the State."
Yitzhar spokesman Yigal Amitai noted that jailed prisoners are provided with room and board, and their families are also provided for in some form, whereas "in this case, it appears that as far as the State is concerned, these activists can simply evaporate; there is no provision for alternative housing or sustenance."
The Land of Israel Faithful Movement stated: “We sharply and unambiguously condemn these distancing orders. We demand that the Government of Israel – a nationalist government – put an immediate halt to this wrongful use of these non-democratic tools that are reminiscent of dark periods in our history.”
You got a few days to pack and leave your house!!