Ramallah (Agenzia Fides) - Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has offered a donation as a "personal contribution" to support the restoration of the Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre. The news, reported by the official Palestinian media, was widespread during the visit on Monday, October 17 to President Abbas by Church representatives who administer the Holy Sepulchre. Greek-Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, Apostolic Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Nourhan Manougian and father Francesco Patton OFM, Custos of the Holy Land were part of the delegation in Ramallah.
"The Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre", said Palestinian President during the meeting with the delegation of Christian Churches "is a national and religious symbol for the Palestinian people. We have the duty to take care of it, to protect it and to contribute to its restoration. Therefore we have decided to offer a personal contribution to the ongoing restoration of the Tomb of Christ". The meeting in Ramallah was also attended by Mr. Issa Kassissyeh, Palestinian ambassador to the Holy See.
The restoration of the Edicule of the Holy Sepulchre began on 8 May. Most of the noisiest work takes place at night, with the use of drills and hammers. The redevelopment project, with a cost of $ 3.3 million, is supported by the Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church. In April, the King of Jordan Abdallah II had already sent a substantial personal donation to the project. The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, through its official channels, provides regular updates on the progress. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 18/10/2016)