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Meeting Arafat after Ramadan

10.12.2002

On the 6th of December 2002, the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr Giovanni Battistelli OFM, together with the other Heads of the Christian Churches in Jerusalem, met with the President of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, to mark the end of Ramadan. The Heads of the Christian Churches gave their good wishes and also discussed the current situation not only in Bethlehem but also in all the West Bank.

The situation in Bethlehem had been discussed by the Heads of the Churches some days before, and it was agreed to put pressure on the Israeli government to lift the curfew for the Christmas festivities because it was inconceivable to hold the religious ceremonies without the attendance of the people. Moreover the Christians were awaiting some move from the Churches as a whole.

At the meeting with Arafat there was a consensus that the two warring factions would not be able to face each other unless some other player takes on the role of mediation.

The meeting ended in the afternoon with a football match between young organizers of the Opera Romana and Palestinian youth which ended one all. Another match was being organized also between the same Roman group and a group of Israeli youth. Such activities, it is hoped, will demonstrate that dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians is possible but only with the help of a third party.

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Created / Updated Tuesday, December 10, 2002 at 00:28:48 by John Abela ofm
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