Israelis, Palestinians Celebrate Nearly Coronavirus-Free Easter
Israeli Christians are celebrating Easter Sunday with a lighter heart than during the previous year’s holiday, as pandemic restrictions have been mostly lifted and social gatherings again permitted in the largely vaccinated country. On Good Friday, after last year’s procession was canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus, worshipers packed the streets and alleys of Jerusalem’s Old City, retracing the route Jesus is said to have walked 2,000 years ago. While entrance into Israel is still somewhat limited because of health protocols, authorities allowed several hundred visitors, mostly from the Palestinian territories in the West Bank, to enter ahead of the festive weekend. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to be the site of Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection, as well as Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, where Christ was born, drew thousands of Israeli and Palestinian Christian pilgrims over the weekend.