The Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem and his family are celebrating after getting permission to remain in the city after months of legal and diplomat appeals.
Rev. Suheil Dawani, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, spoke of his delight at finally getting the residency permits someone born in Nablus in the West Bank must have to stay in East Jerusalem, where St. George Anglican Cathedral and the bishop's offices are located.
"It is with great pleasure, and with God's help, that I and my family have received our residency permits," he said in a statement to his supporters.
Bishop Suheil was denied the renewal of his residency permit by the government in August last year. Initially he sought confidential support through religious and diplomatic channels. He revealed that the Archbishop of Canterbury had been in contact with the office of the Prime Minister of Israel and Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amer to try to resolve this issue. Bishop Dawani also met personally with Rabbi Amer.
Eventually Bishop Dawani's legal advisor sent a letter to the attorney general of Israel seeking an explanation of the allegations against him which had been the basis for the denial of the residency rights for himself and his family.
After waiting one month without an explanation and upon the recommendation of legal counsel, Bishop Dawani took his case to court seeking redress through the Israeli legal system. The reasons for the government's reversal have not been revealed.
--Sept. 27, 2011