Saturday, June 10th | 22 Sivan 5783

April 24, 2023 10:43 am

The Palestinian Authority Doesn’t Miss an Opportunity to Demonize Israel

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avatar by Itamar Marcus


Orthodox Christian worshippers attend the Holy Fire ceremony amid eased coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 1, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad

During the recent Easter holiday, at the request of the Greek Orthodox Church, Israeli police limited the number of participants at a religious ceremony in Jerusalem. In a letter to the Israeli police prior to the Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, church architect Teo Metropoulos explained that “the maximum number of visitors for the ceremony should be 1,800 inside the building and 200 more in the courtyard.”

However, when reporting this story in its official press, the Palestinian Authority (PA) version did not mention the Church’s request, but instead chose to demonize Israel saying Israel’s goal was “preventing thousands of Palestinian people and Christians from around the world from reaching the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.”

The PA further lied that Israel is “targeting” Christians (and Muslims) in Jerusalem, aiming “to put an end to the Christian presence”:

Official PA TV reporter: “The occupation imposed increased restrictions on the Christian celebrations in occupied Jerusalem on Holy Fire day that is before Easter… and reduced the number of Christian participants to approximately 1,800 together with the religious figures…

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The occupation [i.e., Israeli] authorities do not distinguish between Muslim and Christian, and they have targeted the Christians in the holy city [of Jerusalem], just like the Muslims, and are disrupting the celebrations of their holidays and imposing restrictions on the realization of their right to worship, in an attempt to put an end to the Christian presence and erase the true Islamic-Christian identity of the city.” [emphasis added]

[Official PA TV News, April 14, 2023]

The photos from the event show masses of people in the church celebrating the Christian holiday, and also clearly show that the room was filled to maximum capacity:



Photo: KeepTalkingGreece,

Israeli Arab leaders who often echo PA demonization of Israel, repeated the libel, claiming Israel’s goal is to “reduce freedom of worship”:

Official PA TV newsreader: “The High Follow-Up Committee of the Arab Publics in the 1948 Lands [i.e., an umbrella organization that represents Arab citizens of Israel] condemned the blockade that the occupation authorities are imposing on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre … In a statement, the Committee … said: ‘The occupation’s imposition of this blockade joins the restrictions being imposed on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, while the goal is one: Reducing freedom of worship, particularly in occupied Jerusalem, as part of the occupation’s desperate attempts to impose other [Jewish] identities on the holy city.’”

[Official PA TV News, April 14, 2023]

Itamar Marcus is the Founder and Director of Palestinian Media Watch, where a version of this article first appeared.

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