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In Pictures: Palestinians celebrate Easter
Barred from accessing Jerusalem, Palestinian-Christians marked Easter holiday with a joyous parade in Ramallah.
Last updated: 21 Apr 2014 12:20
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Ramallah, Occupied West Bank - Palestinians lined the streets of Ramallah to watch scouts (kashaf in Arabic) march in the traditional Sabt al-Nour parade on Sunday, marking the arrival of the Holy Fire from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

According to Christian tradition, every year, on the day before Orthodox Easter, a flame lights itself at the site of Jesus’ burial. The fire is then transported from Jerusalem to Orthodox communities across Palestine, and around the world.

There are 50,000 Palestinian Christians living in the West Bank and Gaza. The festival serves as a celebration of Palestine’s rich history and national identity in the context of a protracted Israeli occupation and increased fragmentation of Palestinian land.

"The community is getting smaller and smaller," Father George Award of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jifna, told Al Jazeera. "Most families have a relative who emigrated to America or Australia. The situation is very difficult here. There are checkpoints and no jobs and it’s hard to care for your family."

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) found that Palestinian Christians are increasingly unable to complete pilgrimage to Christian holy sites in Jerusalem during Easter or Christmas.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 and unilaterally annexed it in 1980, declaring the city the undivided capital of the State of Israel. Palestinians' entry to Jerusalem has since been regulated by a strict permit regime.

Israel reportedly issued 20,000 permits for Palestinian Christians to attend Easter festivities in Jerusalem this year. While Israel claims restrictions are implemented to guarantee public security and avoid overcrowding, it has been repeatedly criticised for not guaranteeing full Palestinian access to the city's religious sites.

In early April, Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna condemned restricted access to the Holy Sepulchre. And on Saturday, UN peace envoy Robert Serry claimed that he was blocked from attending a pre-Easter service.


/Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera
Scouts get ready for the parade. Fifteen groups from the Ramallah governorate took part in the Easter event.


/Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

The 'Ramallah First' group opened the parade. The first stop was the ancient Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Transfiguration. From there, the priests and altar boys joined the parade.



/Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera
The Greek Orthodox community of Ramallah numbers roughly 7,000. Both Christians and Muslims lined the streets of Ramallah to watch the parade.


/Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera
Archimandrite Galaktion, head of the congregation at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration in Ramallah, was greeted by a scout.


/Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

In keeping with tradition, Palestinian Prime Minister Dr Rami Hamdallah (right) and the mayor of Ramallah, Musa Hadid, joined the parade.



/Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

As the crowd waited for the Holy Fire to arrive from Jerusalem, the 'Ramallah First' troupe entertained the audience.



/Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

Believers lit candles from the Holy Fire. They will keep these candles burning in their homes throughout the year.



/Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

Scouts brought the Holy Fire to the people lining the streets. Believers touched the fire with their bare hands, and then passed their hands over their faces or that of their children's.



/Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

Easter events have been held in Ramallah since the 1930s. The parade only stopped for a few years during the first and second Palestinian intifadas.



/Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera
At the end of the parade, the crowd poured into the Church of the Holy Transfiguration to light candles and pray.


/Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera
"Christians and Muslims have lived side by side in peace for many many years in Palestine," says Father George Awad. "We celebrate festivities together by tradition. We pray in different places of course but we are Palestinians, together."



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images:
/mritems/images/2014/4/21/20144219424292510_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/21/201442194242264176_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/21/201442194242436479_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/21/201442194242608913_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/21/201442194242764253_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/21/201442194242967352_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/21/201442194243139394_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/21/201442194243311351_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/21/201442194243498501_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/21/201442194243702495_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/4/21/201442194243920389_8.jpg
captions:
Scouts get ready for the parade. Fifteen groups from the Ramallah governorate took part in the Easter event.;*;

The (***)Ramallah First(***) group opened the parade. The first stop was the ancient Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Transfiguration. From there, the priests and altar boys joined the parade.

;*;The Greek Orthodox community of Ramallah numbers roughly 7,000. Both Christians and Muslims lined the streets of Ramallah to watch the parade.;*;Archimandrite Galaktion, head of the congregation at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration in Ramallah, was greeted by a scout.;*;

In keeping with tradition, Palestinian Prime Minister Dr Rami Hamdallah (right) and the mayor of Ramallah, Musa Hadid, joined the parade.

;*;

As the crowd waited for the Holy Fire to arrive from Jerusalem, the (***)Ramallah First(***) troupe entertained the audience.

;*;

Believers lit candles from the Holy Fire. They will keep these candles burning in their homes throughout the year.

;*;

Scouts brought the Holy Fire to the people lining the streets. Believers touched the fire with their bare hands, and then passed their hands over their faces or that of their children(***)s.

;*;

Easter events have been held in Ramallah since the 1930s. The parade only stopped for a few years during the first and second Palestinian intifadas.

;*;At the end of the parade, the crowd poured into the Church of the Holy Transfiguration to light candles and pray.;*;"Christians and Muslims have lived side by side in peace for many many years in Palestine," says Father George Awad. "We celebrate festivities together by tradition. We pray in different places of course but we are Palestinians, together." Daylife ID:
72d51ecd35d9532efb074cf91f3c2cad
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera;*;Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera;*;Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera;*;Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera;*;Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera;*;Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera;*;Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera;*;Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera;*;Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera;*;Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera;*;Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Palestinians celebrate Easterhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easteren-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Mon, 21 Apr 2014 09:41:25 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/0534d3860eb289c877536c64b724935c

Scouts get ready for the parade. Fifteen groups from the Ramallah governorate took part in the Easter event.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/0534d3860eb289c877536c64b724935cSilvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

Scouts get ready for the parade. Fifteen groups from the Ramallah governorate took part in the Easter event.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/0e62da26e97e101f99431c5061df26fd

The 'Ramallah First' group opened the parade. The first stop was the ancient Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy transfiguration. From there, the priests and altar boys joined the parade.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/0e62da26e97e101f99431c5061df26fdSilvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

The 'Ramallah First' group opened the parade. The first stop was the ancient Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy transfiguration. From there, the priests and altar boys joined the parade.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/adc9ab0804a12682f362d72b3b7ffc3c

The Greek Orthodox community of Ramallah numbers roughly 7,000. Both Christians and Muslims lined the streets of Ramallah to watch the parade.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/adc9ab0804a12682f362d72b3b7ffc3cSilvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

The Greek Orthodox community of Ramallah numbers roughly 7,000. Both Christians and Muslims lined the streets of Ramallah to watch the parade.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/9e9a597e903fde0e57dd7e98bb14b08e

Archimandrite Galaktion, head of the congregation at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration in Ramallah, was greeted by a scout.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/9e9a597e903fde0e57dd7e98bb14b08eSilvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

Archimandrite Galaktion, head of the congregation at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration in Ramallah, was greeted by a scout.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/efb85161bc9c647dcf55555de0990af6

In keeping with tradition, Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah (right) and the Mayor of Ramallah, Musa Hadid, joined the parade.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/efb85161bc9c647dcf55555de0990af6Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

In keeping with tradition, Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah (right) and the Mayor of Ramallah, Musa Hadid, joined the parade.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/3e088254e95ae8221e484a830347668a

As the crowd waited for the Holy Fire to arrive from Jerusalem, the 'Ramallah First' troupe entertained the audience.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/3e088254e95ae8221e484a830347668aSilvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

As the crowd waited for the Holy Fire to arrive from Jerusalem, the 'Ramallah First' troupe entertained the audience.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/94f4444f403dff857b6e6c9722f838b0

Believers lit candles from the Holy Fire. They will keep these candles burning in their home throughout the year.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/94f4444f403dff857b6e6c9722f838b0Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

Believers lit candles from the Holy Fire. They will keep these candles burning in their home throughout the year.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/5e9b0a7c5373ec0354cc4e74612503a0

Scouts brought the Holy Fire to the people lining the streets. Believers touched the fire with their bare hands, and then passed their hands over their faces or that of their children.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/5e9b0a7c5373ec0354cc4e74612503a0Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

Scouts brought the Holy Fire to the people lining the streets. Believers touched the fire with their bare hands, and then passed their hands over their faces or that of their children.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/7a80a562ba2ac4f704dd2ee3e3bc8fcf

Easter events in Ramallah has been held since the 1930s. The parade only stopped for a few years during the first and second Palestinian Intifadas.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/7a80a562ba2ac4f704dd2ee3e3bc8fcfSilvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

Easter events in Ramallah has been held since the 1930s. The parade only stopped for a few years during the first and second Palestinian Intifadas.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/697de3b564fb80a2d4a18dfc0bb6004b

At the end of the parade, the crowd poured into the Church of the Holy Transfiguration to light candles and pray.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/697de3b564fb80a2d4a18dfc0bb6004bSilvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

At the end of the parade, the crowd poured into the Church of the Holy Transfiguration to light candles and pray.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/87a1d52e3803cc291cbb7a6111167883

"Christians and Muslims have lived side by side in peace for many many years in Palestine," says Father George Awad. "We celebrate festivities together by tradition. We pray in different places of course but we are Palestinians, together."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Palestinians_celebrate_Easter/slideshow/no-caption/87a1d52e3803cc291cbb7a6111167883Silvia Boarini/Al Jazeera

"Christians and Muslims have lived side by side in peace for many many years in Palestine," says Father George Awad. "We celebrate festivities together by tradition. We pray in different places of course but we are Palestinians, together."



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