BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Palestinians and international activists attended a mass on Friday on land belonging to the Cremisan monastery near Bethlehem, which is threatened by construction of Israel's separation barrier.
Former Archbishop and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michael Sabbah and Father Jamal Khader led the mass, which was entitled 'We are not absent'.
The ceremony was held to mark 'World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel,' held from May 28 to June 3.
The initiative is organized by the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum of the World Council of Churches, and promotes events calling for an end to the Israeli occupation.
"Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice shall unite during the week to take peaceful actions," PIEF's website said.
"It is now more than 44 years since the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza overwhelmed the peaceful vision of one land, two peoples," it said.
President Abbas' adviser on Christian Affairs, Ziad Bandak, attended the mass.
The proximity of illegal settlements and the route of Israel's separation wall have put increasing pressure on land in Beit Jala, with several areas facing the threat of annexation.
In October 2011, Israeli forces issued a military order to confiscate 37,000 square meters of private land from near the Cremisan Monastery.