Safeguarding Holy Sites in the Holy Land

(Not open to the public)

This conference is taking place to gauge the practical effectiveness of a Universal Code of Conduct on Holy Sites, which endeavors to safeguard holy places and promote interreligious reconciliation worldwide.


The discussion will reflect on the significance of sacred places in the Holy Land, compare case studies, and consider the roles and responsibilities of religious leaders and other relevant bodies in safeguarding them. Our intention is that this conference will raise awareness on the issue and assist in building regular cooperation among relevant bodies for the greater safety and protection of holy sites in Israel.

The conference will be conducted in Hebrew and English with simultaneous translation.

RSVP e-mail: jeru@sfcg.org

You must submit your Israeli ID or passport number with your RSVP for Ministry security needs.


9.30 – 10.00: Registration and refreshments

10.00 – 10.15: Welcome

Rafael Barak, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sharon Rosen, Co-Director, Jerusalem Office, Search for Common Ground

Michael Mertes, Resident Representative, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung office, Israel

10.15 – 11.45: First Session: A Religious Overview of Holy Sites in the Holy Land

Moderator: Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs, American Jewish Committee

Jewish Sites: Rabbi David Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel

Christian Sites: Theophilus III, His Beatitude the Patriarch of the

Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine

Muslim Sites:

Qadi Dr. Hamza Hamza from the Taybeh Druze and Sharia Court Judge

Qadi Sheikh Naim Henu, Druze religious Courts in Israel

11.45 – 12.15: Coffee Break

12.15 – 12.25: Video Presentation, Holy Sites in the Holy Land – A New Perspective

12.25 – 14.00: Second Session: Case Studies of Current Controversies

Moderator: Professor Yitzhak Reiter, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies and Ashkelon College

Mount Zion:

Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land

Yisca Harani, Independent Scholar and History of Christianity Expert

Be’er Sheba Mosque: Jamal Al-Aberro, Supervisor Southern District, Ministry of


Shahda Ibn Bari, attorney and academic

14.00 – 15.00: Lunch

15.00 – 16.30: Third Session: What Can Be Done to Safeguard Holy Sites in Israel

Moderator: Mr. Ya’akov Salame, Department Head of Minorities, Ministry of Interior

Political Perspectives: Masoud Genaim, Member Knesset

International Perspectives: TBD

Police Perspectives: Avi Biton, Chief Superintendent, Merchav David

Legal Perspectives: Yehuda Shaffer, Deputy State Attorney, Justice Ministry

Education Perspectives: Moshe Tur-Paz, Director of Education Administration,

Jerusalem Municipality (Manchi)

Media Perspectives: Arad Nir, International Commentator and Foreign Editor,

Channel 2 News

16.30 – 17.00: Closing

The Universal Code of Conduct on Holy Sites as a model for cooperation: Sharon Rosen, Co-Director,Jerusalem Office, Search for Common Ground

Add to the calendar


Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem Hall


Holy Sites in the Holy Land: A test of religious tolerance
read now

Susi Doring Preston

Susi  Doring Preston bild

Senior Project and Communications Manager

Susi.Doring-Preston@kas.de +972 2 567 1830 +972 2 567 1831