Church statements on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East

4 October 2000

The whole Diocese, both clergy and laity, is distressed by the current state of affairs in our Land of the Holy One.

Naturally we extend our condolences to all the bereaved families and our prayers for recovery and healing to the thousands of victims and their families who have been injured in body, mind and spirit. This said, we would want to register our profound disappointment and dismay at the way in which the Israeli Leadership has allowed this situation to rapidly deteriorate.

We vehemently denounce the random shooting by the Israeli force, which began on September 28th at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and has continued to date, even extending the Mary's Well and the Basilica of the Annuncciation in Nazareth. We hold the Government of Israel responsible for the killing and injury of so many and how call upon the United Nations and their Security Council to take immediate measures to stop the massacre of our Palestinian people. Furthermore, we call upon them to ensure the withdrawal of Isareli armed forces from all liberated and disputed Palestinian territories.

We call upon the United Nations to require Israel to comply with all its resolutions in order that:

the safety of our people is guaranteed
their right to self-determination and the right to a State of their own on Palestinian soil with Jerusalem as its capital is assured together with the restoration of human dignity.

In conclusion we would ask that the United Nations make a full investigation into the recent atrocities and hold the Government of Israel accountable for provoking this violent situation.

The Rt. Rev. Riah Abu El-Assal
Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem

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