His Beatitude Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, expressed in a Christmas message sent out through his Vicar in Jerusalem and Palestine, Bishop William Shomali, his concern over a possible Israeli court decision regarding the ‘Cremisan case’, in which land belonging to 58 Palestinian Christian families from the city of Beit Jala, north west of Bethlehem, might be separated by the Israeli Apartheid Wall.Shomali said, during a press conference held on December 18th, at Terra Santa College, that such a decision will harm the Christian community, and hopes that the judges will be inspired by ethical principles and not to submit to political pressure.

On behalf of Patriarch Twal, Shomali said, according to WAFA: “We hope that the Israeli High court will keep the 300 hectares of Cremisan Valley, as well as the two Salesian monasteries on the Palestinian side.”

Shomali also condemned the war on Gaza and its dramatic consequences; including the killings and destruction.

He expressed concern over the situation in Jerusalem, stressing that religious antagonism is rejected in the Holy City, whose vocation is to be the city of peace and interreligious coexistence.

Furthermore, the canonization of two Palestinian Christians in Rome in the coming summer was highlighted in the speech for its special status. Shomali explained, “Canonization is the supreme honor granted to a faithful who lived according to his or her faith.”

Blessed Myriam Bawardi, originally from Ibillin in the Upper Galilee and foundress of the Carmel Monastery in Bethlehem and Blessed Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, born in the Old City of Jerusalem and co-foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary congregation will both be canonized.

Meanwhile, Shomali announced the inauguration of the new Christian Media Center (CMC). He wished the Palestinian and international community a blessed Christmas.

Search IMEMC: ‘Cremisan’ for further background info.

*Photo capture — AIC video: 04/12/14 Small Victory in Beit Jala Wall Protest