Message from President Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the State of Palestine, on the occasion of Christmas and New Year:
RAMALLAH, Friday, December 23, 2022 (WAFA) – Palestine is celebrating with the rest of the world the glorious occasion of Christmas, the birth of Christ, peace be upon him, the messenger of love and peace. In this celebration, we raise the flag of Palestine, light Christmas trees accompanied by choirs and beautiful religious hymns, scout parades and our sons and daughters participating from Jerusalem and Bethlehem, to the rest of the homeland and in exile. This celebration is a reminder of the story of the birth of the baby Jesus in a grotto of Bethlehem, an occasion that advances joy and tolerance in all Palestinian homes. It is a message of hope, love and peace that Palestinians continue to preserve as part of our social and cultural heritage that is spread among millions of believers around the world.
On this occasion we congratulate the peoples of the world, and our people both in the homeland and exile, who are celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Today we are facing the policies and actions of our occupier with unity, commitment to our national values, steadfastness on our land, and with the world standing on the side of truth and justice. We will not accept the continuation of the occupation’s colonial-settlement policies targeting the Christian presence and Christianity in our region, which is an integral part of the social fabric of our people and of our region, something we always affirm and will continue to encourage all to preserve the mosaic of religious heritage that Palestine is proud of.
On this occasion we commend the positions of the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, in which they accused extremist Zionist groups of carrying out continuous attacks on churches, intimidating Christians, attempting at expelling them and seizing their property.
We assure that we will continue to present our Palestinian narrative, refuting the false Zionist narrative, confronting any racist measures aimed at erasing our national identity, including our Christian and Muslim heritage. We will confront attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Holy Sepulcher, Mount of Olives, Jaffa Gate, New Gate, the Armenian Quarter and others and attacks on every inch of the homeland.
We will not accept the practices of the colonial-settlement occupation and will confront them with peaceful popular resistance, in all international forums and courts. On this blessed occasion we call upon the international community break its silence and take concrete measures to stop Israeli crimes, including colonial-settlement expansion and ongoing annexation, the consolidation of a racist Apartheid regime, attempts at changing the identity and the character of the city of Jerusalem, the desecration of its Christian and Muslim holy sites , the seizure of church properties and all Palestinian properties, the forcible displacement of Palestinians from their homes, demolitions, as well as murders and other crimes and violations of international law. The homeland is mourning its martyrs, and we shall do everything we can to hold the criminals accountable.
Our hearts are squeezed with pain and suffering due to the killings of the Israeli occupation that led to the martyrdom of hundreds during this year, including the martyr journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, as well as the recent martyrdom of the hero Nasser Abu Hmeid, who died denied of his basic human rights as he was in the last stages of his struggle with cancer. We insist in the need for the international community to assume its responsibility to protect our people.
We affirm that the only way for our people, and all peoples of the region, to enjoy security, stability, prosperity and good neighborliness is for Palestinians to fulfil their legitimate and long overdue rights in accordance with international law and resolutions, including the end of the Israeli occupation and the freedom of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, including our Muslims and Christian sanctities, the right of return of our people and living in our homeland in freedom and dignity.
I extend my greetings and congratulations to our people wherever they are, and I say to them, be proud of your history and identity, tell the world that Christmas is a Palestinian message of hope which our people continues to embrace with love and hope to achieve justice, freedom and peace in the Holy Land.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the city of Bethlehem, and from all of Palestine, to all the peoples of the world, and especially to the sons and daughters of our people wherever they are. Peace be upon you.