WASHINGTON – The Catholic Church will speak out against injustice and avoid any attempt to normalize the “festering wound” of the Israeli-Palestinian situation, a commission from the region’s leading Catholic bishops has said.

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JERUSALEM – Catholic leaders in the Holy Land urged Israel to concede to demands of Palestinian political prisoners on a hunger strike since April 17.

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BETHLEHEM, West Bank – Sami Awad, 45, has been called every name in the book, from "unrealistic" to "traitor" and "collaborator."

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JERUSALEM – The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem warned of "serious consequences" from a new law that allows the government to seize private Palestinian lands where unauthorized Israeli settlements have been built.

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JERUSALEM – Christians have a responsibility to oppose the construction of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, said bishops from the U.S., Canada and Europe.

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JERUSALEM – Administrators at the Technion, a public research university in Haifa, are rushing to defend the presence of a Christmas tree in the campus’ student union building.

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BRUSSELS – Pax Christi International has called for a new peace process to end violence among Israelis and Palestinians and assure fundamental human rights as defined by international law.

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JERUSALEM – Catholic leaders in the Holy Land expressed solidarity with those affected by regional wildfires, which continued to burn after five days.

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JERUSALEM – English Cardinal Vincent Nichols said his pastoral visit to Holy Family Parish in Gaza reinforced the importance of Christian hope, especially for those living in very insecure circumstances.

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JERUSALEM – One of the last ceremonies in which former Israeli President Shimon Peres participated as a public figure took place in the Vatican Gardens in June 2014, the last month of his presidency. Along with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, he planted an olive tree at the invitation of Pope Francis.

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HAIFA, Israel – When Israel's Ministry of Education ranked its top 277 schools, eight of the nation's 47 Christian schools were on the list.

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TEL AVIV, Israel – It was Sunday — women’s-only day — at the so-called religious beach in this Israeli city on the Mediterranean, and several hundred women and girls sat on the sand or frolicked in the gentle waves with an abandon they rarely exhibit elsewhere.

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JERUSALEM – World Vision, one of the world’s largest Christian humanitarian aid organizations, said it has “no reason … at this time” to believe that its operations manager in Gaza funneled tens of millions of dollars in donations to Hamas’ military wing, as Israeli security officials claimed.

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KRAKOW, Poland – At least for a few minutes at World Youth Day, the physical barriers between Palestinian and Israeli communities were nonexistent.

Published in World Youth Day 2016

JERUSALEM – Stuart Levy, a nurse at a Jerusalem hospital, updates his ward’s work schedule several times a week, with staffers’ vacations, birthdays and more religious holidays than many people know exist.

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