Worshippers Observe Palm Sunday In Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (March 24, 2013)--Hundreds of Christians in Jerusalem were marking Palm Sunday, the start of the Catholic Holy Week that concludes with Easter.

Crowds of faithful gathered Sunday at Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection.

Many waved palm fronds to symbolize how worshippers greeted Jesus over 2,000 years ago as he triumphantly returned to Jerusalem.

Mostly Palestinian worshippers gathered in the Nativity Church in Bethlehem, traditional site of Jesus' birth, clutching olive branches and bouquets as they sang in praise.

There are some 50,000 Palestinian Christians, a tiny minority among a mostly Muslim society.

They must obtain military permission to enter Jerusalem, and a Palestinian official said the requests of most applicants were rejected.

Military spokesman Guy Inbar said they had issued 20,000 permits so far.

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