Greetings within the Custody for a Holy Christmas, with Jerusalem's municipality and military authorities | Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Greetings within the Custody for a Holy Christmas, with Jerusalem's municipality and military authorities

On Wednesday morning, the 19th of December, at the Curia of Saint Savior Convent, a delegation from the municipality, accompanied by the mayor of Jerusalem, Mr. Nir Barakat, was welcomed by the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, for the annual exchange of Christmas greetings. Present at the meeting were Fr. Artemio Vitores, Custodial Vicar , Fr. Ibrahim Faltas,the General Economist.

The short reception was lived in a relaxed and cordial atmosphere, which was then followed by handing a symbolic gift to the guests in the name of the Franciscans of the Custody.

The meeting was an opportunity to show the positive relations between the Custody and the Municipality of Jerusalem, in the range of the numerous projects which have started and others which in future will surely improve.

The Custos underlined the traffic problem around the Basilica of the Gethsemane, which is very much visited, around 5.000 pilgrims a day ; the space for the maneuvers and bus parking is limited, an idea would be to think about a public transportation service.

The topics which were discussed in the conversation went from housing restoration projects in the Old City, already in process, and others to verify in future, that pertain to the Ain Karem village, to improve its present structure.

In the early afternoon the Custos met the Israeli Police Delegation of the Jerusalem Region.

This meeting was followed by the encounter with the Military Forces Delegation, who are busy organizing and coordinating the close Christmas solemnities security, in order to make events flow peacefully .

This year the Palestinians have been given lots of permits, to travel out of the Occupied Territories to reach Jerusalem or other places in the country, whilst the citizens of Gaza have only been granted 500 permits.

This greeting moment, even though essential, is every year more of an opportunity to increase reciprocal acts of comprehension, building the way to cooperation in a land where it is still difficult to find the right equilibrium, hoping that the Christmas Spirit will help people become more and more receptive.

Text: Ufficio internet
Photo: Nadim Asfour