BY Ryan McDougall | January 24 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Bishop calls on governments around the world to remember the Holy Land

Bishop William Nolan of Galloway Diocese has called upon UK, EU, and North American governments to insist on the application of international law in Israel and Palestine.

Bishop Nolan was visiting the Holy Land from January 10-16 with the Holy Land Coordination, consisting of Archbishops, fellow bishops, and clergy from the United States, Britain and Europe.

The Holy Land Coordination travels to the region every year in support of the Catholic Church in Israel and Palestine, aiming to promote dialogue and peace.

Bishop Nolan was a signatory in a letter released following the visit, which was signed by 15 members of the co-ordination.

Resilience

In the letter, the members said they were inspired by the resilience of those they met in Gaza, East Jerusalem and Ramallah despite the current situation in the region.

However, they echoed local bishops’ fears that the international community has failed ‘to help realise justice and peace’ in ‘the place of Christ’s birth.’

Speaking to governments in their respective home countries, the letter adds: “Our governments must do more to meet their responsibilities for upholding international law and protecting human dignity. In some cases they have become actively complicit in the evils of conflict and occupation.”

Local bishops also warned that the people of Palestine and Israel are facing ‘evaporation of hope for a double solution.’

Reality

The Holy Land Coordination members wrote that they ‘have witnessed this reality first-hand, particularly how construction of settlements and the separation wall is destroying any prospect of two states existing in peace’ and reiterated the views of local bishops who have said living conditions in the region are becoming ‘more and more unbearable.’

The Coordination members implored their respective governments to ‘build a new political solution rooted in dignity for all’ by insisting in the application of international law, following the Holy See’s lead in recognising the State of Palestine, addressing the security concerns of Israel and the right for all to live in safety, rejecting political or economic support for settlements, and opposing acts of violence or breaches of human rights on all sides.

“In taking these steps the international community can meaningfully stand in solidarity with those Israelis and Palestinians who are refusing to give up their non-violent struggle for justice, peace and human rights,” the Coordination concluded.

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