Holy Land Church leaders: ‘peace agreement must be based on equal rights and dignity’

Catholic Church leaders in the Holy Land react to the US President’s ‘Peace to Prosperity Plan’ describing it as a unilateral initiative that does not give dignity and rights to the Palestinians.

By Linda Bordoni

In a statement released by the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land following the presentation of US President Donald Trump’s Peace-to-Prosperity Plan, the Church leaders invite all Christians to pray for a just solution for the Holy Land question and express their opinion that “this plan will bring no solution but rather will create more tensions and probably more violence and bloodshed,” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The plan, released by the White House on Tuesday, proposes the possibility of a future independent Palestinian State and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements, creating Israeli enclave communities.

It also recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital while allowing for a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, where, according to the plan, the U.S. would build a future embassy to the Palestinian State.

The group of Church leaders that includes Catholic bishops and patriarchs of different rights and the Franciscan Custodians of the Holy Land, describe the plan a “unilateral initiative” that does not give “dignity and rights” to the Palestinians.

They say that the plan “endorses almost all the demands of one side, the Israeli one, and its political agenda” while not really taking “into considerations the just demands of the Palestinian people for their homeland, their rights and dignified life.”

They go on to assert that they “expect that the previous agreements signed between the two parties be respected and improved upon the basis of complete human equality among peoples.”

The statement concludes inviting all world Christian Churches “to pray for the Holy Land, to work towards justice and peace and to be the voice of the voiceless.”