Israeli Embassy addresses Georgian citizens, who intend to attend Holy Fire Ceremony

The Embassy of Israel to Georgia has released a statement addressing the citizens of Georgia, who intend to attend the celebration of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem.

According to the statement, this year the Holy Fire Ceremony will take place on 27 April, in the Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem and thousands of Eastern Orthodox pilgrims and official delegations from all over the world attend the Holy Fire Ceremony.

“Citizens should know that every year, the Police of Israel takes special safety measures at the Holy Fire Ceremony. Citizens, suffering from health problems, are recommended to avoid arriving at the Christ Church on the Holy Day because of a large amount of participants of the ceremony.

People attending the Holy Fire Ceremony should follow the Police’s instructions and obey the order to change the place. It is inadmissible to resist persons responsible for ensuring order in the Christ Church and roads that lead to the Church.

It should be also noted that a citizen’s reply, made even in a request manner, could be understood as resistance to the law-enforcement authorities. Therefore, the Police, because of a large amount of people attending the ceremony, may use force to ensure public order.

Citizens must avoid getting into an argument with clerics responsible for ensuring order in the Christ Church.

Citizens must also avoid acquiring the co-called special “bracelets” in the Old City of Jerusalem - passes to enter the Christ Church. The Jerusalem police officers will take out people wearing such false “bracelets” from the Church.

A citizen, lost in the Old City, is strongly recommended to call the Police +972 26226100 (the police officer will take him/her to the nearest Police Department) and to connect with the Consular Service of the Embassy of Georgia.

It should be also noted that requirements related to visa and border crossing are extremely difficult.

Please, note that on holiday days and in summer tourist season, you will need extra time when passing through airport security. During this period, Israel strengthen security measures. Therefore, citizens, prior to departure, should get an in-depth understanding of Israel’s immigration policy through the web pages of the Georgian Foreign Ministry and the Embassy of Georgia in the State of Israel,” the statement reads.