International Affairs, Peace & Human Security

12 October 1990

The World Council of Churches condemns the use of deadly force by the Israeli security forces, resulting in the killing of more than twenty and the wounding of hundreds of Palestinians in Jerusalem. The manner in which the Israeli authorities have acted reflects total disregard of their obligations under international law and makes them fully responsible for this tragedy. The Council extends to the families of the victims its sincere condolence and upholds them in its prayers.

The World Council of Churches reaffirms its opposition to the continuing repressive actions of the occupying power in East Jerusalem and other Occupied Territories. It has repeatedly appealed to the Israeli authorities to ensure the sanctity of the Holy Places in Jerusalem and the free access to them by the adherents of the respective religions. The latest incident has to be seen as part of a deliberate policy of the Israel authorities to change the status of Jerusalem by a combination of administrative actions and force. This is a clear violation of international agreements regarding Jerusalem and a breach of international law related to territories under occupation.

Nablus 1990: Palestinian mother carries photos of her dead son.

The World Council of Churches expresses the hope that the United Nations Security Council will take immediate and effective steps to protect the lives and safety of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and their free access to the Holy Places. The World Council of Churches again urges the Security Council to take steps towards holding the International Peace Conference on the Middle East to deal with all out-standing issues including Jerusalem.

The World Council of Churches prays for all of the people of the Middle East and specially remembers the Muslim community in Jerusalem and its leaders. It reaffirms its readiness to stand together with all religious communities in a spirit of servanthood seeking to be faithful in one common calling to be peace-makers and reconcilers and a sign of hope for all.

Emilio Castro
General Secretary

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