Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fouad Twal confirms Pope Benedict's intention to visit al-Aida refugee camp

According to YNet News, The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal has confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI will tour and preach at the al-Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, asserting that it symbolizes "the right of return and holds a message of peace, brotherhood, and justice".

The report provides further details on this past week's skirmish between Israel and Aida camp workers involved in preparations for the visit:

According to prior agreements the stage hosting the pope at al-Aida was intended to be built in a schoolyard, but Ynet has discovered that the Palestinians violated these agreements by constructing it near the separation fence. A demolition warrant was subsequently issued by the Civil Administration, and the stage must be relocated.

"The camp is a camp that symbolizes the refugees' suffering and their right of return," Twal said. "The fence will be seen from the location of the pope's seat, and in any case he will enter and exit the district of Bethlehem through the fence."

The Latin Patriarch added that he hoped to see cooperation on all sides in order for the tour to be successful.

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