The Israeli police have requested that a welcome poster for Pope Francis’ eminent visit be removed from a building belonging to a church near Jaffa Gate, to avoid ‘inflaming Jewish passions’.According to the Middle East Monitor, the National Christian Assembly Secretary-General, Dimitri Delyani, described the Israeli request as a ‘rude act’:

‘This rude act will only strengthen the Christian and Muslim unity from all over the Holy Land to prove that Jerusalem is an Arab city with a Christian and Islamic civilisation, and no Judaisation programme or ethnic cleansing crimes will erase this well established fact in the hearts of each and every one of us… This is our city and we will build mosques and churches and we will receive or expel whoever we want, but when the occupation wants to control it and its people and regards them as temporary residents, this would cause a rift.’

He further stated, ‘The National Christian Assembly is sending messages to all churches around the world to expose the Israeli practices, including the Jewish terrorism represented in this request.’

Pope Francis is due to visit Bethlehem at the end of May.