Church statements on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

The Middle East Council of Churches
Beirut, 10 October 2000

The General Secretariat of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) sympathises with the events in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and reiterates its condemnation of the Israeli practices, expressed in its statement dated 3.10.2000. In this context also, the staff members of the Department of Service to Palestine Refugees which is part of the MECC, in their meeting with members of the Central Committee of the Department, in Amman October 9,2000, issued the following statement:

The Central Committee of the Department of Service to Palestine Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches, convened in Amman on October 8th and 9th, 2000, condemns Israeli practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. These practices range from infractions of holy sites, indiscriminate shootings of Palestinians, to threats of war and use of violence. The violation of human rights, the adoption of apartheid and the dissection of towns and villages from one another all contribute to a worsening of economic, health and educational conditions.

The conferees stress that these practices and daily provocation against our Arab Palestinian people destroy the spirit of peace and harmony in the region and place the Middle East in a precariously explosive situation that threatens world security and stability.

The conferees like to emphasize that comprehensive and just peace cannot be accomplished without taking into consideration the following facts:

1. The unity of the Palestinian people irrespective of the place of its presence whether on Palestinian land or in the Diaspora.
2. The right of the Palestinian people to self determination and to a state on the national soil with Jerusalem as its capital.
3. The right of return for the Palestinians is a sacred right guaranteed by international legitimacy and basic human rights.

The conferees appeal to the heads of different churches, to the General Secretary of the United Nations, to the leaders of the world, to religious, international and humanitarian organizations and to those committed to peace and justice in the world to stand by the Palestinian people in its hour of need and extend the necessary protection from Israeli military oppression until the realization of an independent Palestinian state in conformity with the message of love and peace inspired by the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rev. Dr. Riad Jarjour
General Secretary

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