In a final statement following a six-day visit to the Holy Land, the Bishops Co-ordination group have urged their governments to ensure that international law is applied in Israel and Palestine.
The Bishops who travelled on their annual visit to support the Holy Land’s local Christian communities said they were inspired by the enduring resilience and faith of the people they met, while touring Gaza, East Jerusalem and Ramallah despite the worsening situation.
They also encouraged people making pilgrimages to the Holy Land to ensure they “encounter the local communities.”
Referring to a recent message by local Bishops who lament the international community’s failure to realize justice and peace in the land of Christ’s birth, the Co-ordination group said that while the political solution had ultimately to be shaped by the people of the Holy Land through dialogue, there was an urgent need for the governments in their own countries in Europe, Canada and the USA to play their part.
The Bishops stressed that what was needed was 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 of all to live in safety; rejecting political or economic support for settlements and resolutely opposing acts of violence or abuses of human rights by any side.
They concluded their statement by praying for the peace of Jerusalem.