Articles related to Palestine
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has confirmed the number of seats reserved for each city to Christian candidates with a presidential decree, ahead of the municipal elections scheduled for 13 May. According to the decree, dated 15 March, eight seats out of 15 will be reserved to Christian candidates in the municipal councils in Ramallah and Bethlehem, and
Israel has carried out a record number of demolitions and evictions of Palestinians and Bedouins in recent months, in spite of international condemnation and a UN Security Council Resolution in December reaffirming that these actions are illegal...Human right groups in Israel are also very concerned about this issue. Together with their supporters they held a special event in the Knesset recently. Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann, from Rabbis for Human Rights writes:
On 9 February the UK Parliament unanimously debated and approved a motion appealing for the resumption of peace talks on Israel and Palestine and condemning the ongoing construction of illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. The advocacy group Open Bethlehem submitted the following briefing for the debate: Open Bethlehem is a film and advocacy project that works to bring greater understanding of the challenges that face Bethlehem today with a special focus on the Christian
The Conference of Major Superiors of Men and Pax Christi International are among 15 major Christian organisations of different denominations that sent a briefing paper to all members of Congress and to the Trump Administration this morning, calling for US policies that promote peace, justice, and equality between Israelis and Palestinians. The paper states: "2017 marks 50 years since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza and 24 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords. Over the last 50 years, but particularly since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, there have been
The Birmingham Faith Leaders Group met with Israel's Ambassador to the United Kingdom last Wednesday 8 February 2017. The meeting with Ambassador Mark Regev took place at Singers Hill Synagogue, Birmingham. The Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Longley said: "It was a good opportunity for us to consider some very difficult issues together and Ambassador Regev listened carefully to the concerns that were raised before offering a considered response. We touched upon the two-state solution to the current impasse between Israel and Palestine;
Bishop William Shomali, Patriachal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem for the Holy City and Palestine has strongly condemned the law passed yesterday in the Israeli parliament, which 'legalised' houses and Israeli settlements built illegally on Palestinian territory illegally occupied by the army of Israel. This law "makes the solution two peoples-two states almost impossible, and "it offends justice, the virtue which comes from God and consists in giving God and neighbour what they are due," the Bishop said.
Thousands of Palestinian and Jewish Israelis rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest against home demolitions targeting the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Demonstrators called the Israeli state's demolition campaigns against its Palestinian citizens "racist" and an act of "incitement". Preparations continue for the Sabeel 10th International Conference to be held in March 2017. Participants continue to register for this important conference from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, USA,
Church campaigners are asking ICN readers to encourage their MPs to attend an important debate about the illegal settlements in the Holy Land which will take place next Thursday. The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme have also sent us a petition.. The construction of settlements in occupied Palestine - including areas well known to pilgrims - near the Shepherds Fields and Bethlehem - quadrupled in 2016, according to the Israeli monitoring organisation Peace Now. The UN has reported that the eviction of Palestinian families and demolition of their homes
The Jerusalem Legal Aid Centre (JLAC) is a pioneering Palestinian human rights organisation and CAFOD partner. Since its inception over 37 years ago, it has provided pro-bono legal aid and services to some of the poorest and most marginalised people and communities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. JLAC's Director Mr Issam Aruri and EU Project Coordinator Ms Shu'la Abdelhadi will be speaking about the realities of life under occupation on Saturday 28 January from 11am - 1pm in Birmingham and on Monday, 30 January in Southwark.
Pope Francis met with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas at the Vatican on Saturday. Following the audience, the Holy See Press Office issued the following press release: This morning the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Excellency Mr Mahmoud Abbas, president of the State of Palestine, who subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States. During the cordial discussions, the parties evoked the existing good relations between the Holy See and Palestine,
The Iona Community has published a Position Statement on Israel/Palestine. This is a response to the call of Palestinian Christians in the 2009 Kairos Palestine document, and timed to mark the upcoming centenary of the Balfour Declaration. The Statement makes clear the Iona Community's challenge to Christian Zionism as 'a distortion of the Christian faith, in its abuse of scripture to oppress Palestinian people'. It commits the Iona Community to the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel as 'an act of nonviolent solidarity, pursuing equality, freedom, and justice'
Once again this Christmas the ecumenical charity Kairos is asking you to send a message of support and solidarity to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. At the end of a year where political turmoil has ruled our world, life is more uncertain than ever in Palestine. Settlements are being built with abandon, with no international reprisal. The demolition of Palestinian homes and buildings has hit unprecedented figures. Gaza continues to decline under blockade, where poverty and instability prevail.
The annual Amos Trust Bethlehem Carol service at St James's Piccadilly this year focuses on the stories of the women of Palestine and will feature a wide cross-section of guest musicians and speakers. There will be special guests from Palestine as well as Philippa Whitford MP who will talk about her time at Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza; Garth Hewitt who will be previewing songs from his new Christmas album; Vox Holloway Choir with Justin Butcher & Harvey Brough Beth Rowley & Amaka Okafor Opera 4.
A London exhibition opening next Monday, will offer a taste of daily life in the Holy Land, as artists are constructing a life-sized copy of a border control point at the separation barrier between Israel and occupied Palestine. Visitors to You cannot pass today: Life through a dividing wall will walk through the checkpoint, installed at Hinde Street Methodist Church in Marylebone, accompanied by documentary photography, sound, testimony and eyewitness accounts.
The Israeli Ambassador Ze'Ev Boker says ( Irish Times 18th August) that " Israel still hopes ...for a final agreement, based on bilateral negotiations resulting in two states for two peoples, the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people" . That is indeed great but I ask Ambassador Boker if he seriously believes that such negotiations will have any chance of success, or even starting, where his Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that he too is in favour of a two state solution, but " only
Kairos Palestine have just published a comprehensive study guide to be used by Christian groups, schools and parishes. The course, compiled by Kairos member Karen Fairfax-Cholmeley, consists of five sessions (each one taking up to 1.5 hours to complete) and covers a range of topics from the historical side of the conflict, to how we can support Palestinians' right to non-violent resistance. Karen previously worked as a lawyer, and is now a teacher and researcher.
The broken Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and ongoing Syrian crisis were among topics touched on by the Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in statement on Tuesday. In his statement to the UN Security Council during an open debate on 'The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question' Archbishop Bernardito Auza reiterated Pope Francis' denouncement of those responsible for the Syrian crisis, especially those who provide weapons to fighters.
The Permanent Observer to the United Nations Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič has offered an intervention at the UN International Conference in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace. "The Holy See believes that the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians can move forward only if it is directly negotiated between the Parties," Archbishop Jurkovič said, with the strong support of the international community, as this international conference is meant to catalyze." He re-affirmed the Holy See's support for a two-state solution citing affirmations of Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is continuing to reiterate complaints about the interrogation and treatment of its staff and professional colleagues at Ben Gurion International Airport on 29 April - 2 May. In a statement, Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General secretary of the World Council of Churches said the WCC "hopes both the incidents and ensuing conversations can offer more clarity for future visits by WCC staff and ecumenical colleagues to Israel and Palestine. At the airport, some travelers were interrogated repeatedly for up to eight hours and accused of
The final week of May marks the last week of school for Palestinian children in occupied Hebron. The Christian Peacemaker Team working there has made a short video, compiled from the many, many hours of military oppression they have witnessed at Qitoun checkpoint this academic year. The video is all filmed in one location, and so, with the same group of children who are forced through this checkpoint daily. The video shows just a tiny fragment of the oppression Palestinians are subjected to here at this checkpoint, in Hebron, and all over occupied Palestine.
Human rights monitor Hannah Griffiths gave a moving account of her experience working in Hebron on the West Bank, with the EAPPI recently. In her talk she described how her main duty was to accompany children to school each day - a simple enough task - until you realise that these children, some as young as three, have to pass through checkpoints and dozens of soldiers carrying guns in order to get to school. They often have their bags searched, must pass crowds of armed settlers and are sometimes sprayed with 'stink water' or tear gas.
An evening of 'Tales from the West Bank: Life Under Occupation' with Hannah Griffiths and Madeleine McGivern, will take place at Travelling Through Bookshop and Cafe, 131 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, SE1 7AE on Wednesday, 18 May from 6.30-8.30. Entrance is free. Hannah Griffiths has recently returned from her role as human rights monitor in Hebron with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. An essential task was providing protection through her presence at a school twice a day.
An exhibition of images: Sage Tea and Sunshine - an alternative view of Palestine, by photographer Madeleine McGivern opened at the Travelling Through Bookshop in Waterloo last Friday. Madeleine lived and worked in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza as a human right monitor for three months, and then was a member of Christian Aid's Middle East programme team in Palestine and Israel for over four years....The exhibition runs to 3 June.
Among the group of teachers sitting in the sun before lessons start, Khalid Zboun is clearly the head teacher. All the teachers are drinking tea, the fuel of teaching, but Khalid is drinking his from a pint mug that wouldn't look out of place in a British pub. He needs to drink tea in such quantities because being head teacher of Al Khadr Boys' Secondary School, near Bethlehem, is a tough job. He knows neither the time nor the place that the Israel military will come.
A jabbing pain in his shoulder and thigh roused Obada from his sleep at 3am. In the half-light, the 15-year-old could make out eight masked men surrounding his bed, their rifles pointed at him. "I felt terrified," he said of the experience of being arrested in February from his home in the village of al-Araqa, near Jenin in the northern West Bank. Jonathan Cook writes in his website: The View From Nazareth. Obada is one of more than 100 Palestinian children who, in recent months, have found themselves dragged from bed at gunpoint in the
The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, spoke on the situation of Christians in the Holy Land and the many challenges they face in Palestine and Israel, at a conference at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome last Thursday. Holy Land Christians are now a small minority, less than 2% of the population, noted the Patriarch, lamenting the decline of the Christian presence in Jerusalem, which accounted for a quarter of the population in 1948, at the creation of the State of Israel, compared to only 1.97% of the total population today.
A new play about Palestine - 'Scenes from 68* Years' is being performed at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston, London, from 6-30 April. It is by award-winning writer Hannah Khalil and draws on stories from family and friends. Acclaimed Palestinian actress Maisa Abd Elhadi joins the six strong UK cast via a live video link-up direct from Palestine.
The West Bank has endured an unprecedented number of demolitions during the first part of 2016, leaving an average of 45 Palestinian people homeless every week. Demolitions have included not only homes, but a school for Bedouin children and structures vital to the income of Palestinians.
Members of Rabbis for Human Rights intervened to protect a Palestinian who was being threatened by a settler. In their latest blog today, RHR report: 'An Israeli resident of the South Hebron Hills was filmed by a Ta'ayush activist as he attempted to attack an elderly Palestinian shepherd, threatened to butcher his children at night, and called to hang human rights activists. 'During the conversation, the young settler acknowledged the Palestinian's deed to the land dating back to the Ottoman Empire.
While thousands of foreign pilgrims visit the Holy Land every Easter, this year, 850 indigenous Christians Palestinians from the Gaza Strip are also being allowed to travel to Bethlehem and occupied East Jerusalem, after the Israeli authorities agreed to grant them permits, a Palestinian Authority official said on Saturday. Muhammad al-Maqadma, a public information officer for the Palestinian Ministry of Civil Affairs, told Ma'an news agency the permits were the result of "dedicated efforts" by Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein
The Holy Land Coordination is a group of mainly European, North America (USA and Canada) and South African bishops who annually visit different places in the Holy Land meeting with church and political representatives, as well as with local Christian communities and NGOs active in the field of peace, human rights, caritas and development. Church related organisations such as Pax Christi International are always invited to participate and Fr. Paul Lansu, Senior Policy Advisor represented the movement again in 2016.
Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, has urged Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Ambassador Susan Rice to take renewed action to build on steps toward peace in the Middle East and work toward long term stability in the region in separate letters, sent on Wednesday. Bishop Cantú, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to Secretary Kerry that the United States should build on the success of the Iran nuclear deal by pursuing peace in Syria and
"It was very sad to see the present situation where individuals have their lands confiscated and trees uprooted," said Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico. "This is a sign of something much larger. It seems to be a diminishing of the rights of Palestinians to be there and a lack of acknowledgment of their legitimate right to be present whether in the state of Israel or in Palestinian lands." Bishop Cantu and 12 bishops from Europe, South Africa and North America visited the Cremisan Valley on January 10 as part of the Holy Land Coordination, in which they come to
The Holy See announced today (Saturday 2 Jan 2016) that the Comprehensive Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Palestine has come into full force. The Comprehensive Agreement was signed by the Holy See and the State of Palestine on 26 June 2015. It "regards essential aspects of the life and activity of the Church in Palestine, while at the same time reaffirming the support for a negotiated and peaceful solution to the conflict in the region."
Sunday, 29th November 2015, is the first day of Advent as well as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People initiated by the United Nations. Tragically in Palestine, this time of Advent is beginning at a very dark time. In Bethlehem, clashes erupt almost daily, Israeli forces have closed down Hebron completely and Palestinian Jerusalemites are facing another round of harsh discrimination and house demolitions. In fact, instead of preparing for Christmas,
As we are coming out of the Ibrahimi mosque where the tombs of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah are located, two young Palestinian women were coming to pray. An Israeli soldier pointed a gun at one of the girl's heads and she said: "Don't shoot me! Don't shoot me!" Muslim guards intervened and the Border Police arrested them for interference. They also arrested the young women, tying their hands behind their back and blindfolding them..."It is bad when we are thankful for two girls being arrested, because at least they have not been killed."
A Palestinian doctor who often welcomed Christian Peacemaker Teams and other peace groups into his family home, was killed yesterday, when he became overcome by teargas thrown by Israeli army. Hashem al-Azzeh was 54 years old. He was a lovely man and a good friend. He has worked tirelessly at bringing international people and officials to Tel Rumeida and taking them on tours to explain the situation here. He also did a lot for the local community association. He and his family live next to the settlement underneath the caravans next to Baruch Marzel's house.
Pax Christi International is deeply distressed at the scenes of escalating violence in Palestine & Israel. Pax Christi International has worked for many years with Palestinian and Israeli human rights and peace organizations to support their work for a just peace in the Middle East based on human rights. Around the world our members and partners are praying for all those whose lives are being destroyed by violence. We are convinced that nonviolent, legal and political solutions are the only way to stop the violence.
I returned home on 3 October 2015 after a one week visit to New York to attend our annual meetings at Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), only to find a Jerusalem that was completely different than the one I left a week earlier. Upon returning, it took me close to two hours to arrive to my home in the Old City of Jerusalem, though it was a Saturday and traffic is usually very light. I found out later that the deadly stabbing of two Jewish people inside Damascus Gate coincided with my landing at the airport. We all thought this was an isolated incident
Bishop Declan Lang has issued the following statement this afternoon: As Chair of International Affairs at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England & Wales, and also of the Holy Land Coordination, I have been following with mounting concern the violence that has taken hold again in many parts of Israel and Palestine. As I pray for the dead and injured from both the Palestinian and Israeli sides, I also call upon both communities and their leaderships to exercise restraint and refrain from going down the slippery road of tit-for-tat killings and mutual recrimination.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has appealed for calm after months of escalating violence driven by the Israeli far-right and Jewish zealots on one side, and frustrated young Palestinians on the other, boiled over into clashes and lethal attacks. The Patriarch writes: Once again, embers of despair, stirred by hatred, leave a heavy impact on this injured Holy Land. Heavily concerned with the more recent wave of violence which blows over Israel and Palestine, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem condemns the bloody incidents of these last days and the frightening
The Westminster Justice and Peace Commission would like to support the statement made recently by the Canadian Bishops Conference in connection with the sad situation in that region near Bethlehem, the Cremisan Valley. Many thought that when the Israeli High Court agreed that the Separation Wall should not be built through the valley, that this would be binding. But no, the plans went ahead to divide families from their land; uproot olive trees set for generations and the only means of livelihood for the families concerned.
The President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau, has written again to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, asking that the Government of Canada "call on the Israeli authorities to find a just resolution" to the decision this past July by Israel's Supreme Court. The Court's ruling allows the military to locate a security wall in the Cremisan Valley so it cuts off 58 Palestinian Christian families from their agricultural lands.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Eamon Martin, Presidents of the Bishops' Conferences of England & Wales, and Ireland, have called for solidarity with, and prayer for the Christian communities who live in the Holy Land. The Cardinal and Archbishop were returning from the Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) which had been meeting in Galilee and Jerusalem at the invitation of His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. The European bishops visited the Christian communities in Nazareth, Mil'ya and Bethlehem,
'Bridges not Walls' is the theme of the 2015 week of advocacy and action in support of an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a just peace for all in Palestine and Israel. The week will be observed 20-26 September. Congregations and individuals around the globe who share the hope of justice shall unite during the week to take peaceful actions, together, to create a common international public witness. Pax Christi is a member of the planning group for the week,
Pope Francis received in audience Reuven Rivlin, president of the State of Israel on Tuesday. The President later met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher. In a statement the Vatican said: "During the cordial discussions the Parties focused on the political and social situation in the Middle East, affected by several conflicts, with special attention to the condition of Christians and other minority groups.
This new report by The Society of St Yves - Catholic Center for Human Rights is a comprehensive summary and analysis of the Cremisan Valley case. The report aims to shed light on the grave violation of building the annexation wall in Cremisan and its destructive effect on the Palestinian Christian families living in the area. The report aims to condense all the proceedings and developments of the case from 2006, starting with a review of the history of the case and its main elements.
Israeli forces attacked a protest rally by Palestinian Christians following Sunday Mass yesterday. Priests, patriarchs and other church leaders processed with crosses to an area where more land has been confiscated to extend the Separation Wall in the Christian majority town of Beit Jala, in the occupied West Bank, near Bethlehem. Last week bulldozers moved into an ancient olive grove, uprooting trees dating back to the time of Jesus. Two parishioners were arrested. Many more suffered from the effects of tear gas inhalation. Protesters also condemned the illegal Israeli settlements of Gilo and Har Gilo,
Thirty-one aid, faith, human rights, and development organizations are calling on world leaders to take urgent action to halt ongoing demolitions and hold the government of Israel accountable for the wanton destruction of Palestinian property and of projects funded by international aid in the occupied West Bank. During a surge in demolitions this week, the Israeli army demolished at least 63 homes and basic structures across 10 Palestinian communities in Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank where Israel has maintained full military and civil control.
The father of baby Ali Dawabshe, who was killed in arson attack by Jewish extremists on 31 July, died of severe burns today (Saturday). Sa'ad Dawabshe, 32, had been treated in intensive care at Beer Sheva hospital in Israel since the attack. His wife Riham, and four-year-old son Ahmad are in the same hospital fighting for their lives. There have been reports of another petrol bomb attack overnight on another house in the same village, Duma, near Nablus in the West Bank.
The EU Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah have released a statement on the Israeli Supreme Court's decision to allow the construction of a section of the Separation Barrier through the Cremisan Valley. The statement, which is dated 10 July, expresses "deep regret and concern" regarding the court's decision. It says: "If built - this Barrier will severely restrict access of 58 Palestinian families from their agricultural land and profoundly affect their livelihoods. It will also involve a further encroachment on Palestinian land close to Bethlehem,
Christian and Jewish campaigners, together with representatives from EU countries have travelled to the ancient Palestinian village of Susiya, which is under threat of demolition...EU representative in Jerusalem, John Gatt-Rutter, said: "our presence here today indicates how seriously we in the EU view the intention to demolish this village and its structure and evict its residents. But Susiya isn't an isolated case. It's hard not to draw parallels with what's happening elsewhere in the West Bank and with Bedouin communities."
In a final statement at the end of their meeting in Bethlehem, Pax Christi International has reaffirmed its recognition of the state of Palestine, a ban on settlements and its stand in favour of nonviolent struggle against occupation. The World Assembly of Pax Christi urges all UN-member states to recognize the state of Palestine and to ban Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine. The 160 participants in the Assembly of the international Catholic peace movement in Bethlehem/West Bank from 13th to 17th of May are deeply concerned about Israeli policies that deny the rights
Our pilgrimage saw, and experienced, a variety of things today that unfortunately are all too common to many Palestinians-but certainly not for middle class Americans. Our day started at the Aida Refugee Camp, one of the three refugee camps for Palestinians in Bethlehem and one of nineteen in the West Bank with 741,409 registered refugees (not counting the eight refugee camps and 1,221,110 registered refugees in Gaza and the numerous Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria with millions more Palestinian refugees).
William Bell, Christian Aid Policy and Advocacy Officer, has written an incisive think-piece about the plight of Palestinian refugees in his latest Huffington Post blog. Bell details how the current situation in Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus a "joins a wretched list of outrages against displaced Palestinians etched on the world's conscience, which should jog all legal and political counsels into action." He goes on to narrate how "half the Palestinian population, approximately five million men, women and children, exist in varying degrees of insecurity and vulnerability across the Middle East and beyond."
The Holy See on Tuesday expressed its deep concern at the "total lack of progress" of the negotiations between Palestine and Israel. "As was recognized on that occasion, Israel has genuine and legitimate concerns for its security; however, such security will come not in isolation from its neighbors, but in being a part of them through a negotiated peace with the Palestinians through the implementation of the 'Two-State Solution', which has the support of the Holy See and of the international community in general," said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN.
I have just received a copy of a report from Military Court Watch titled "Children in military detention" from Hind Khoury, General Secretary, Kairos Palestine. It makes compulsive reading. In it's executive summary, the report highlights four main points as reproduced below: In March 2013, UNICEF published a report which found that: "The ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child's prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing."
Palestine’s accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a welcome move that will help deter war crimes and end impunity in the region, and should be supported by European countries said Amnesty International, Broederlijk Delen, Christian Aid, the Coalition for the ICC, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and Pax Christi Flanders. Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International, said:
Anglican and Catholic bishops have given their full support to an historic vote in Parliament that will call on the government to recognise Palestine as a state. Labour backbencher Grahame Morris will present the motion as MPs today, as return to the Commons.The motion has the full backing of the Labour shadow cabinet. The Bishops say in a statement: "At a time of great uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa, we hold that it is the reasonable aspiration of all peoples to belong to a state and enjoy the merits of full and active citizenship on their own lands.
On Monday, MPs in Westminster voted for a motion, tabled by Grahame Morris MP, calling for recognition of a Palestinian state. 274 voted for the motion; 12 against. MPs on all sides of the House supported the call for Palestinian statehood, including many Conservatives. The 'no' campaign attempted to avoid a vote by not putting forward tellers for their side, so Palestine supporting MPs had to act as tellers for the 'no' lobby, so that a division could be taken.
Israeli authorities are imposing wide-ranging closures on the West Bank and Gaza throughout the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, limiting the movement of Palestinians just as the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival begins. The closures began at midnight on Thursday and last until Saturday midnight, massively limiting the movement of all Palestinians in and out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the duration of the holiday. Israel routinely seals the Palestinian territories during Jewish holidays,
US bishops affirmed that prayer is powerful, peace is possible and that support for a two-state solution is an essential imension of pursuing Israeli-Palestinian peace in a September 22 communique, following a Prayer Pilgrimage for Peace in the Holy Land. Eighteen US bishops visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories from September 11-18. “There is no military solution to the conflict, but tragically violence on both sides undermines the trust needed to achieve peace.
Bishop William Shomali, who has pastoral responsibility for Latin-Rite Catholics in Gaza, has made an urgent appeal to Aid to the Church in Need for support for victims of the Gaza bombardment. He said: “The humanitarian situation in Gaza is very bad... We ask for your help for the poor and those injured by the war. Now, more than ever before, is the time to aid the people in Gaza.” In response to the bishop’s plea, Aid to the Church in Need sent out €50,000 in emergency aid and stands poised to provide further help.
Kairos Britain - a network of individuals, organisations and faith communities seeking a just and lasting peace in Israel and Palestine has issued the following statement today: End the suffering in Gaza NOW. Now is the time for Christians to take action to end the suffering in Gaza and promote a just, lasting, and sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The situation in Gaza is desperate. Over 600 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began military operation over two weeks ago. The UN says the majority of these are civilians, a third of them children.
Pax Christi International cries out for an end to this new cycle of violence, believing that its roots are firmly planted in the persistent structural violence of occupation. In a statement Pax Christi International says: Tragically, a new escalation of violence has engulfed the daily lives of Israelis and Palestinian civilians. Last month’s abduction and murder of three young Israelis in Hebron and the kidnapping and murder of a 16 year old Palestinian have fuelled this new cycle of violence.
A silent vigil for Peace in Palestine and Israel was held on the steps of Coventry Cathedral Ruins on Friday evening. The International prayer for peace was said at intervals as the names of the 100 Palestine men, women and children killed in Gaza were read aloud. The vigil was organised by Pax Christi and Coventry RC Justice and Peace Group, Friends of Sabeel, Jews for Justice for Palestine, the Presentation Sisters, Kairos Britain and supported by members of Coventry Friends of Palestine and members of groups from Leamington and Birmingham.
In the wake of renewed tensions in the Holy Land, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land has issued an urgent appeal for peace:“A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more” (Jeremiah 31:15).I srael and Palestine are echoing with the cry of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, loved ones of the young people who have fallen victim to the latest round
Amos Trust writes: In response to developments overnight on the Gaza border, many supporters have been in touch to ask if there has been any news from our partners in Gaza since the rocket attacks began and asking what they can can do. We have had through a report from our partners the Near East Council of Churches in Gaza City, where we support their youth training programmes. Written before the attacks intensified, the report describes increasingly desperate conditions for ordinary families - running water and sanitation are at crisis point
I beseech You, O Lord, on behalf of my people, the people of Palestine - Moslems, Christians and Samaritans - who are craving for a just peace, dignified living, and liberty, I beseech you, Oh Lord, to make prosperous and promising the future of our people, and freedom in our sovereign and independent state; Grant, O Lord, our region and its people security, safety and stability. Save our blessed city Jerusalem; the first Kiblah, the second Holy Mosque, the third of the two Holy Mosques, and the city of blessings and peace with all that surround it.
While great preparations are underway in Israel and Palestine, ahead of Pope Francis' visit next week, in the Gaza Strip little is happening. Although this area is part of the Holy Land – the Holy Family passed through it on their way to Egypt – it is a separated area. Isolated from the world because of a siege that has lasted several years, many people living in the Gaza Strip feel that the world has forgotten them. For the small Christian community of Gaza every day is a new challenge. During the month of May, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary,
There are a number of vacancies on the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, (EAPPI) for 2015. Programme Accompaniers provide protection for vulnerable people by their presence, by monitoring human rights abuses, supporting Israeli and Palestinian peace activists and advocating for an end to the occupation. Based in the West Bank and Israel in 2015, there are 18 vacancies for three months’ service and two vacancies for 4.5 months’ service. The posts offer living allowance + benefits.
Archbishop Joseph E Kurtz of Louisville, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, hailed efforts of President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “We are acutely aware of the difficulties of the quest for a lasting and just peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” the bishops said in a March 12 letter to President Obama.
Christian groups in the Holy Land are rejecting a controversial new law that distinguishes between Muslim and Christian Arab citizens for the first time. On 23 February, 2014, the Israeli Knesset enacted the law that recognizes Muslim and Christian Arab communities as separate identities, giving them their own representation in an employment commission. The law passed by a margin of 31 to 6. Palestinian Anglican priest, Rev Naim Ateek .. writes: "The new law passed by the Knesset favouring Christians is .. a deceitful political stunt
The most routine part of Christian Peacemaker Team Palestine’s work in Hebron is the monitoring of checkpoints through which students and teachers must walk to get to schools. For years, they have been stationed at the Qitoun checkpoint/Checkpoint 209, which stands between boys walking from the H-1 area to il-Ibrahimi school and girls walking to al-Faiha school as well as their teachers. This semester, after daily clashes began erupting at four other H-2 schools near the Salameh checkpoint/Checkpoint 29, CPTers (when they had enough people to do
The United States should urge the government of Israel to cease and desist in efforts to unnecessarily confiscate Palestinian lands in the Occupied West Bank, said the chairman of the Committee of International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to Secretary of State John Kerry. In a 28 January letter, Bishop Richard E Pates, specifically addressed the situation in the Cremisan Valley, which he visited earlier this month. "As I stood amidst the beauty of this agricultural valley and heard the testimony of the Christian families
Bishop Richard E Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the US bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace, will visit the Middle East January 6-17 in support of the local Church and peace talks in the region. Expressing solidarity with those countries seeking peace in many areas of the world, Bishop Pates echoed the words of Pope Francis in his Urbi et Orbi message, particularly addressing the violence faced in Syria, the Central African Republic, South Sudan and the Holy Land.
“Too many lives have been shattered
Christian Peacemaker Teams’ Palestine team has just released a new video about the Masafer Yatta area, featuring the Al-Fakheit School, an 'archway to the future.' Although the twelve-minute production presents the realities that the people living in the region face - their homes under constant threat of home demolition, Israeli military exercises disrupting their lives - the film is surprisingly uplifting, filled with faces of the children and adults who live in the scattered villages around the school, and whose lives the school has greatly enhanced.
A few days ago, my teammate Alwyn and I were sidetracked by phone call as we left for a food shopping trip. Another international monitoring group here in Hebron asked us to check out a situation at the container checkpoint that separates the H-1 area (under nominal Palestinian control) from H-2 (under full Israeli military control) in Hebron. Soldiers had stopped a staffer from a kindergarten near Qurtuba School who was bringing in a box of snacks for the children,
This morning the Holy Father received in audience Mahmoud Abbas, president of the State of Palestine, who subsequently went on to meet with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. During the cordial discussions, reference was made to the situation in the Middle East, and in particular to the reinstatement of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. The Parties expressed their hope that this process may bear fruit and enable a just and lasting solution to be found to the conflict,
'A Time for Action', a British Christian response to the Kairos Palestine* document was launched at the Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham on 25 August. Pax Christi is a signatory to this new document. Pax Christi's Ann Farr, who was involved in the drafting process, spoke at the launch, introducing the action section which, along with prayer for peace and justice, invites people to participate in visits that highlight the reality of occupation on the peoples of Palestine and urges political action to challenge the violations of human rights and international law.
While welcoming the resumption of peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinian Authority, brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry, the path forward is fraught with many major obstacles, in particular the settlements which the Israelis are continuing to build in the Palestinian Territories, and the Separation Wall, Fr Raed Abusahliah, director of Caritas Jerusalem said yesterday. "The only way to solve problems is to negotiate" he said, but Fr Raed added that he did not have "too many" expectations."
Sunday, 28 July, settlers from Tel Rumeida set fire to Hani Abu Heike’s olive grove. The Abu Haikel family has lived in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood for generations, and has been under constant attack from nearby settlers since settlers established their presence there in the 1980s. Members of the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron arrived while fire department and internationals were extinguishing the flames with hoses and buckets. Hani Abu Haikel told team members: “This has become a yearly thing,”
Like many Americans and Christians, I support a long-lasting peace in the Holy Land. I urge you to pay more attention to the convent of Salesian Nuns in the Cremisan Valley that needs our help in stopping the separation barrier that will prevent them from accessing their lands and their livelihood. Recently, a decision by the Israeli Special Appeals Committee approved the routing of a separation wall that will divide the convent from its farmland and its neighboring monastery. In addition, farmers from the neighboring village will have to go through a locked gate that can only be opened by members of the Israeli army
...“We know both issues remain challenging, appreciate your leadership in tackling them and offer our prayerful support,” wrote Cardinal Dolan and Bishop Pates. They pledged their support to US efforts to achieve mutual reductions in stockpiles of nuclear weapons, to adopt the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation. They also thanked the President for traveling to the Holy Land in March and for charging Secretary of State John Kerry with the task of bringing both parties to the negotiating table.
Entering Israel is always stressful. One must figure out how to answer delicately the intrusive questions of the security agents. Additionally, I had spent two three-month terms on the CPT Al-Khalil (Hebron) team, and was returning for my third term in a year. Some friends from a partner organization warned me that recently Israel had denied all their volunteers were a third attempted reentry. The prospect of a two-hour interrogation with a real chance of being denied entry was daunting enough, but then I received word about a new Israeli policy.
Pope Francis received Israeli President Shimon Peres in a private audience today. The Vatican issued the following statement following the meeting: 'Today in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Excellency Mr Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel. President Peres then went on to meet with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
The Anglican Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Right Revd Peter Price, says civil society is the key to 'unlocking peace' in Israel/Palestine. He made the comments in a debate in the House of Lords after his recent trip to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Bishop Peter was part of a delegation led by Christian Aid, which travelled to the region with the object of encouraging Israeli and Palestinian partners in the vital task of peace promotion. During the eight day trip, Bishop Peter met a number of Christian Aid partners, including B'Tselem,
Thirty Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious leaders from the United States called for "a bold new US initiative for a two-state peace agreement before it is too late." They made the call in a statement sponsored by the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East. "The current dangerous stalemate, including the legacy of past failed peacemaking efforts, undermines our security and that of others, destabilizes the region, fuels terrorism and extremism, allows continuing Israeli settlement expansion, and prolongs Palestinian disunity,"
The difficulties facing Christians in Israel and Palestine have helped bind them together and break down divisions between the Churches – according to the new ambassador representing the Pope. Speaking at the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18 – 25 January), Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, the Apostolic Nuncio in Israel and Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine, described marked improvements in ecumenical relations over the past 30 years.
The United States is poised to make a real difference in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict and should provide tireless leadership to ensure a two-state solution in the Middle East, said two leaders of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in a letter to President Barack Obama. "We affirm your support of the two-state solution, promise our support for strong US leadership for peace, and urge you even to consider appointing a high profile envoy in hopes that as in the past this might advance peace and justice in the region,"
I was shocked to hear that the authorities in Jerusalem have applied for planning permission to build an army training school on the Mount of Olives. The building work will involve the destruction of the Garden of Gethsemane - where Jesus prayed on the night before he was arrested and later crucified. This is a sacred place where pilgrims of all faiths have come to pray for centuries. It is almost impossible to believe that the Israeli authorities could allow this to happen.
The US Senate is currently considering three amendments to a defense spending bill that would reduce or eliminate funding for the Palestinian Authority, Churches for Middle East Peace report. (CMEP) This action comes in the wake of UN action on Thursday to upgrade the PA's status in the General Assembly. The funding in question includes $370 million for budget support for the Palestinian Authority. This funding is essential to humanitarian programs such as the Augusta Victoria Hospital (a project of Lutheran World Federation) in East Jerusalem.
The Holy See has welcome the majority approval by the UN General Assembly of the Resolution by which Palestine has become a Non-member Observer State of the UN Organisation. In a statement, the Vatican said: "The Holy See has followed actively the steps which have led to this important decision, while striving to remain neutral between the Parties, and to act in accordance with its particular religious nature and universal mission, and in consideration also of its specific attention to the ethical dimension of international problems.
When President Harry Truman stroke out the words “Jewish State” and wrote instead “State of Israel” he was thinking that this isn’t right, or at least I think, he believed in Jesus Christ… Today Western leaders race to recognize the so-called “State of Israel” as the “homeland for the Jewish people”!! Jewish people from Europe or the United States of America are true nationals of these states,
On the eve of the General Assembly of the United Nations, at which Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, will ask the UN Security Council to recognise Palestine as the 194th member state of the world body, Archbishop Patrick Kelly has endorsed the call from Jerusalem’s Heads of Churches for intensified prayers and diplomatic efforts for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
Military checkpoints are a way of life for Palestinians in Palestine and Israel. Each day tens of thousands of Palestinians move patiently through turnstiles and narrow caged walkways to go to work, school or home. It is a humiliating experience.
Nearly 500 complaints that Israel’s tourist ministry was attempting to remove Palestine from the map have been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority. In an adjudication released today (Wednesday 15 July), the ASA ruled that posters advertising Israel as a tourist destination had breached its Truthfulness clause