Catholic Bishops visit the Holy Land
Christians have a responsibility to oppose the construction of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, bishops from the US, Canada and Europe said.
This was after a visit to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, where an Israeli blockade has made it difficult to get supplies for reconstruction of buildings destroyed by Israeli shelling. “This de facto annexation of land not only undermines the rights of Palestinians in areas such as Hebron and East Jerusalem but, as the UN recently recognized, also imperils the chance of peace,” said bishops who participated in the Holy Land Coordination this week.
The statement issued at the end of their visit said:
“So many people in the Holy Land have spent their entire lives under occupation, with its polarising social segregation, yet still profess hope and strive for reconciliation. Now, more than ever, they deserve our solidarity,”
The statement was signed by representatives of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community and the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, as well as bishops from the United Kingdom and other European countries.