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  • Atallah Hanna, the archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, said relocating the U.S. embassy gives "the (Israeli) occupation what it does not deserve."

    Atallah Hanna, the archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, said relocating the U.S. embassy gives "the (Israeli) occupation what it does not deserve." | Photo: EFE

Published 25 December 2017

The archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem said relocating the U.S. embassy gives "the (Israeli) occupation what it does not deserve."

Palestinian Christian leaders have expressed their displeasure with the U.S. government's decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calling the move both "dangerous" and "insulting."

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Atallah Hanna, the archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, said: "We Palestinians, Christians and Muslims reject the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."

Speaking at a news conference in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, he called President Donald Trump's move "an insult to Christians and Muslims around the world, who consider Jerusalem as an incubator of their most sacred, spiritual and national heritage."

Hanna said the decision to not only recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, something that had been done by several of U.S. President Donald Trump's predecessors, but to also move forward with relocating the U.S. embassy to the city "gave the (Israeli) occupation what it does not deserve."

Division has occurred between Palestinian Christians and the Greek Orthodox Church as a result of the move. The latter religious order serves as a custodian to many sites and has been criticized by the mostly Arabic-speaking Christian Palestinians for ceding properties to Israel through land sales or multi-decade leases, according to PressTV.

The international community has galvanized in protest after United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Demonstrations have been held in Palestine, Lebanon, Indonesia, Colombia, France, the United States and elsewhere.

One day after the United Nations voted to revoke the U.S. government's inflammatory decision, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated that his country no longer views the "dishonest" United States as a mediator between his government and Israeli authorities.


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