Vatican News
Palestinians protest in Hebron in the West Bank Palestinians protest in Hebron in the West Bank 

US Bishops express reservations over Middle East peace plan

The Bishops of the United States urge Israel and Palestine to dialogue directly with each other to solve their conflict, as violence flares in response to the US peace plan for the region.

By Devin Watkins

US President Donald Trump released his long-awaited “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People” plan last week.

It offers a way to end the decades-old conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In response, Bishop David Malloy, of the Diocese of Rockford, wrote in a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the attempt “merits serious consideration.”

Dialogue and two-state solution

The Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace also sought to recall a few “fundamental truths”.

First, he said, only Israel and Palestine “can resolve their differences and agree on a common resolution to the chronic impasse”, and must negotiate directly with each other.

Bishop Malloy said the US should offer counsel “to strengthen bilateral agreement.”

Second, he notes, the Holy See and US Bishops strongly support a two-state solution, which the peace plan allows as a possibility and not as an immediate result.

Recognition and support

“Intrinsic to a fruitful discussion is the necessity that each state recognizes and supports the legitimacy of the other,” Bishop Malloy said.

US Bishops, he said, “are concerned ‘Peace to Prosperity’ makes propositions without these requisite conditions being met.”

“The Catholic Church in the United States recognizes and supports the legitimate aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians to build their nation on the cultural, social and religious values that underpin their society,” he writes.

Violent response

Separately, a string of violence left 2 people dead and over a dozen others injured on Thursday.

Israeli troops shot dead 2 Palestinians in the West Bank, both of whom attacked soldiers.

Another Palestinian man rammed a car into Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, injuring at least 13 of them.

Israel and Palestine have also spent the last several days exchanging mortar fire and air strikes along their shared border.

06 February 2020, 15:27