"It is time to act in order to extinguish the destructive fires raging in the Holy Land.... Only a just peace will put end to hatred, to oppression and the suffering of so many."
For the first time in over two months, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem reopens, despite the uncertainty some people still have about the effects of the pandemic on public health and the local economy.
Catholic leaders in the Holy Land believe that continued Israeli annexation of West Bank land could end any hope of Palestinian-Israeli rapprochement.
The Vatican is providing ventilators and monetary assistance to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem and Gaza as they try to grapple with the pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way Palm Sunday is celebrated in Jerusalem, with surgical masks, social distancing, and livestreaming services.
The affected areas were in the West Bank: Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and Jericho for 14 days following seven reported cases of the coronavirus in the Bethlehem and Beit Jala area.
Trump proposed the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements, creating Israeli enclave communities in the heart of the West Bank while promising the possibility of a future independent Palestinian state under certain conditions.
The church leaders said Trump's plan endorses "almost all" the demands and the political agenda of the Israelis while ignoring the demands of the Palestinian side.