ISRAEL’S GENERAL MILITARY COMMANDER VISITS THE PATRIARCHATE
On Wednesday the 10th/23rd of December 2015, the General Military Commander of Israel in the Occupied Territories, Mr Mordechai Poli, accompanied by a fifteen-member group of men of the Israeli Army and others, visited the Patriarchate.
Amongst them was the Military Commander of Bethlehem, Mr Dani Zandler, Mr David Menachem, and the Director of Christian Affairs at Israel’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, Mr Sesar Margie.
Mr Poli was welcomed by His Beatitude in the presence of Hagiotaphite Fathers.
At the meeting, Mr Poli extended his joy for the meeting on the occasion of the feast of Christmas and talked of the visit’s importance as regards the alleviation of the recent, unprecedented incidents of violence in Syria, Egypt and Israel.
Mr Poli also informed the Patriarch on the actions taken by the Israeli army towards the cessation of violence and the prevalence of peace, i.e. granting entry permits to thousands of Palestinian workers, merchants and Christian pilgrims from the occupied areas and Gaza, for the celebrations.
In His reply, His Beatitude said the Patriarchate contributes to such actions by means of its peace-making tactics, so as to help the members of its flock, but also adherents to other religions, to live in peace, prosperity, justice and security, and wished that the spirit of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence prevail at all times, especially during this period of the great feasts of Christianity, in the town of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christianity.
From the Secretariat-General