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Catholic Official in West Bank Rejects Jordanian Charges Against Israel

A Catholic official in the Israeli-held West Bank section of Jordan denied today charges emanating from Jordan that some Catholic churches in the area had been closed because of “improper behavior by Israeli visitors. Father Batkhish, secretary of the Patriarchate, not only rejected the charges but also expressed appreciation for Israeli orders concerning treatment of the holy places.

Printed notices were posted yesterday on all Christian holy places for all non-Christians. The notices ordered removal of hats by such visitors and a ban on eating, smoking and drinking on the premises. The orders also banned visits during religious services and admonished visitors to dress properly “as befits a place of worship.”