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Abbas to Pope: "Israel is taking systematic action aimed at changing [Jerusalem's] identity and character and at harassing its Palestinian Christian and Muslim residents"

Excerpt from [PA] Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the press conference with Pope Francis
     “We informed His Holiness of the results of the negotiations and the obstacles that lie in their path, foremost among which are the [Israeli] settlements, the daily attacks on the houses of worship – churches and mosques – and the confinement of thousands of Palestinian prisoners who are longing for freedom in the Israeli prisons. For over 30 days now, many of them have been on a hunger strike because of the bad treatment [they receive] and the fact that they are being detained without sentences, [in] what is known as administrative detention. We also informed His Holiness of the tragic situation in East Jerusalem, the capital of our state that has been occupied since 1967, where Israel is taking systematic action aimed at changing its [Jerusalem’s] identity and character and at harassing its Palestinian Christian and Muslim residents, in order to induce them to emigrate and to prevent believers outside it from praying at its houses of worship…
These Israeli actions have led to the emigration of many of our Christian and Muslim brethren; we are seeing to it that they remain rooted in their land, the fatherland.”
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