Church leaders oppose Israeli plans to annex unilaterally West Bank land

An Israeli soldier guards at the Gush Etzon Settlements junction near Bethlehem, West Bank, May 10, 2020.  (photo: CNS / Debbie Hill)
Church leaders call on the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the United Nations to respond with a peace initiative of their own based on international law and U.N resolutions.

By Judith Sudilovsky | Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation | May 14, 2020

‘An array of plans for Israel to unilaterally annex West Bank land, backed mainly by right-wing factions, raises serious and catastrophic questions about the feasibility of any peaceful agreement to end the decades-long conflict, one that continues to cost many innocent lives as part of a vicious cycle of human tragedy and injustice,’
— Church Leaders in the Holy Lands statement

JERUSALEM – Moving forward with an Israeli plan to unilaterally annex West Bank land could mean the end to the already languishing Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, said the heads of the Holy Land churches.

“An array of plans for Israel to unilaterally annex West Bank land, backed mainly by right-wing factions, raises serious and catastrophic questions about the feasibility of any peaceful agreement to end the decades-long conflict, one that continues to cost many innocent lives as part of a vicious cycle of human tragedy and injustice,” the church leaders said in their statement.

Among those who signed the May 7 statement were Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and Franciscan Father Francesco Patton, custos of the Holy Land.

Also in early May, Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett initially approved a construction project that has been under discussion for 20 years and would see 7,000 new housing units built in the West Bank Israeli settlement of Efrat, expanding the settlement toward its border with Bethlehem.

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