Catholic leaders in the region are critical of the "agreement of the century" sponsored by the White House. A project that "does not take into account" the rights of Palestinians and "endorses" the claims of only one party, Israel. The invitation to all the Churches in the world to renew the prayer for peace in the region.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - "This plan will bring no solution but rather will create more tensions and probably more violence and bloodshed". This is the blunt condemnation of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land of the so-called "agreement of the century", the peace plan between Israelis and Palestinians presented on January 28 by US President Donald Trump. The religious leaders warn that this plan "does not take into account" the rights of Palestinians, while it "endorses" the claims of only one side, the Israeli side.
The plan formulated by the White House, welcomed by Israel and rejected by the Palestinian leadership, provides four fundamental points: for Trump Jerusalem will remain the "undivided capital" of Israel, while that of the future Palestinian state will be on the eastern outskirts of the holy city, beyond the security barrier; no possibility of a return of Palestinian refugees who fled or were expelled during the 1948 war and are today part of the Israeli state and little compensation; in violation of international law, existing colonies would remain virtually unchanged and part of Israel; Gaza and the West Bank will be linked by a tunnel, to be built within the next four years, including a high-speed train.
The Catholic leaders in the area consider this plan harmful and unfeasible, with a view to true peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Meanwhile, clashes broke out yesterday between Palestinian demonstrators and security forces in different areas of the West Bank. Demonstrations were also held in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Further protests and clashes in the area are also expected in the coming days; for this reason the Israeli army has announced the allocation of additional troops.
Here is the note from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land sent to AsiaNews:
Catholic Ordinaries of Holy Land react to “Peace to Prosperity” plan, invite world Christian Churches to pray
Statement on the “Peace-to-Prosperity” Plan
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, for decades, is at the center of many peace initiatives and proposals for solution.
As said many times in the past, we think that no proposal and not serious perspective could be reached without the agreement of the two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians. These proposals have to be based on equal rights and dignity.
The plan “Peace-to-Prosperity” presented yesterday does not contain these conditions. It does not give dignity and rights to the Palestinians. It is to be considered a unilateral initiative, since it endorses almost all the demands of one side, the Israeli one, and its political agenda. On the other hand, this plan does not really take into considerations the just demands of the Palestinian people for their homeland, their rights and dignified life.
This plan will bring no solution but rather will create more tensions and probably more violence and bloodshed.
We expect that the previous agreements signed between the two parties be respected and improved upon the basis of complete human equality among peoples.
We invite all world Christian Churches to pray for the Holy Land, to work towards justice and peace and to be the voice of the voiceless.
“And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.” (James 3, 18)