European Union leaders and religious and academic leaders from around the world have criticized the Israeli government's decision to demolish a Jahalin Bedouin village of about 190 people and relocate its residents close to the al-Azaria Palestinian village, on the edge of a garbage dump.
Christian leaders in the Holy Land hope two new Palestinian saints will become intercessors for peace and a bridge among faiths: Blessed Marie-Alphonsine, born Soultaneh Maria Ghattas was born in Jerusalem in 1843 and is the founder of the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Rosary of Jerusalem, the first and still the only Palestinian women's religious congregation; Mariam Baouardy, a Melkite Catholic, was born in 1846 in the Galilee village of Ibillin and founded a Carmelite convent in India and one in Nazareth.
Israel's Supreme Court blocked a plan to build a separation barrier through the Cremisan Valley in the West Bank that would have divided a Catholic monastery, a convent and adjacent olive vineyards. Church officials celebrated the April 2 court order, saying it was an early Easter gift as Christians prepared to celebrate the Passion and resurrection of Jesus. The decision ends a nine-year legal battle over a defense ministry plan for a wall that would have cut through Palestinian-owned land, separating families from their agricultural land as well as separating Salesian Sisters from the community they serve in their school.
Bethlehem is the most advanced Palestinian city in terms of dealing with the physically and mentally disabled and the most needy of the population, said Argentine Sr. Maria Pia, who greeted a group of the bishops at Hogar Nino Dios. The home is run by her order, the Sisters of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word.