St. George’s Episcopal School is located in Jerusalem, just across the street from St. George’s Cathedral Close. It provides quality education to over 800 boys and has been a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem for over one hundred years.
This morning eleven teachers from the Bethlehem area left home at 6:00 am, on their way past the Israeli military checkpoints, to work at St. George’s School. This morning was different, however, in that the soldiers manning the checkpoint detained them.
Their Palestinian identity cards were taken and they were forced to stand, facing the wall, just next to the checkpoint’s accumulation of garbage cans. This group included eleven teachers; four women and 7 men. The youngest was 31 years old, and several had over twenty years of teaching experience behind them. For the first time in their experience, they were told that they needed permits to reach St. George’s School in Jerusalem.
They were held at the checkpoint for over three hours. They were denied permission to return to Bethlehem. They were denied permission to proceed to Jerusalem. Their identity cards were not returned to them during this period, and for part of the time, ‘it was not known’ where their cards were. Simply, they were held hostage during these hours.
At 10:00 am Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal arrived at the checkpoint, accompanied by Dean Michael Sellors, and Mr. Samir Saikey, director of St. George’s School. After lengthy discussions, the teachers were released and allowed to continue on to their jobs.
We ask that you keep these teachers, the students at St. George’s
School in Jerusalem and all the people of His Land in your prayers.