Christians in Gaza request prayer that permits will be granted for them to travel to the West Bank to visit friends and relatives over the Christmas holidays.
All inhabitants of Gaza, one of the most densely populated places on Earth, face severe travel restrictions and have difficulty obtaining permits from the Israeli authorities to enter Israel through the Erez border crossing. In previous years, Christians living in Gaza were privileged to be able to apply through the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem to receive travel permits from Israel to visit family and friends in the West Bank over the Christmas period. This year, however, nearly all the Christmas permit applications have been refused by the Israeli authorities, with only Christians over the age of fifty-five being allowed to travel.
Gazan Christians, who represent about 0.1% of the population in Gaza, are reportedly very disappointed to be refused this chance to celebrate Christmas with their families and friends and request prayer that:
- The Israeli authorities will relent and provide travel permits for the Christmas holiday
- Those Christians who are especially burdened or traumatised by the living conditions in Gaza will be given preference
- Those Christians who are unable to travel will know God’s peace and still be able to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus – the Saviour of the World