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Israeli settlers occupy, then leave, Catholic hermitage

Catholic World News - April 22, 2013

Jewish settlers briefly occupied a hermitage on land owned by the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem, before moving away after protests by local Christians and Muslims.

The Jewish settlers raised the Israeli flag over the hermitage in Taybeh, northeast of Jerusalem, on April 19. The building had been constructed by a Catholic monk, but had not been occupied during the past year. The settlers moved out after protests.

Bishop William Shomali, an auxiliary for the Jerusalem patriarchate, visited the site on April 20 to speak with local officials. The bishop told the Fides news service that he wanted to reemphasize that “we protect our holy places, and we do not allow others to come and occupy lands, homes and places of worship where we have been for years and centuries."

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