.- Commenting on the number of Catholics from the Gaza Strip who will be allowed to see the Pope during his visit to the Holy Land, a new pastor in Gaza, Argentinean priest Father Jorge Hernandez, said this week, âIsrael has told us it will do its best to issue some 80 permits. These will be for one day and will only be valid for travel to Bethlehem.â
According to the SIR news agency, Father Hernandez said that 250 visas were requested from the Israeli government. âWith the reduced number (80), we are in the position of having to choose who to take to Bethlehem. It will not be easy because everybody wants to participate. For now we will only find out about the permits the day before (May 12). This is the ordinary way things are done,â he said.
âWe have much hope for this visit,â the priest continued. âWe hope the Pope will speak about Gazaâ as âthe bombings continue in the south because of the tunnels.â
âThe Pope has always spoken about the Gaza Strip during the recent conflict, and for this reason we know we are in the Pontiffâs heart,â the priest concluded.