- Aug 12, 2020
It’s hard to say what exactly will change in the West Bank if Israel follows through on its plans to annex parts of the occupied territory, but east Jerusalem, which was annexed more than a half-century ago, may provide some answers.
Bethlehem residents returned to the Church of the Nativity as the holy site opened to visitors May 26 after being closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But amid the joy was a feeling of uncertainty about their economic future, as pilgrims and tourists are not yet able to return.
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem will open on Sunday for the first time in two months.
When the Israeli Ministry of Health asked St. Joseph’s Hospital to set up a coronavirus unit, the hospital had it completed within a week.
A handful of Eastern Orthodox priests held mass for the Christian holiday of Easter on Sunday in an empty Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem due to restrictions in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
For Orthodox Christians, this is normally a time of reflection and mourning followed by joyful release, of centuries-old ceremonies steeped in symbolism and tradition. But this year, Easter — by far the most significant religious holiday for the world’s roughly 300 million Orthodox — has essentially been cancelled.