Reports of Mistreatment of Palestinian Christians Attempting to Attend Orthodox Easter Services

Taken Question
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 7, 2013

QUESTION:  What is the U.S. reaction to reports that Israelis mistreated Palestinian Christians as they attempted to attend Orthodox Easter services yesterday in Jerusalem?

ANSWER:  We are aware of these reports. We respect the deep religious and historical ties that Christians, Jews, and Muslims have to Jerusalem and the holy sites there. We also appreciate the parties’ responsibility to protect security and maintain peace with their neighbors. Religious freedom, including freedom of worship, is a core human right. Discussing religious freedom issues is a key part of our bilateral relationships with Israel and the Palestinian Authority. We urge both Palestinians and Israelis to exercise restraint and refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric.

PRN: 2013/0532