Holy See concerned about Israeli plans to annex occupied territories

Palestinian leader Saeb Erakat and Archbishop Gallagher talked on the phone. Benjamin Netanyahu is planning the annexation and is now supported by Benny Gantz. Trump is in favour as well. Christian leaders have long complained about the apathy of the international community.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Holy See is concerned about the possibility that occupied Palestinian territories will come under Israeli sovereignty, jeopardising the two peoples, two states solution and the peace process in the region.

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, spoke by phone with Saeb Erekat, Chief negotiator and Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the Holy See Press Office reported.

For some time Benjamin Netanyahu, back at the helm of Israel’s government with his main rival Benny Gantz, has expressed plans to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, illegal under international law. Gantz, who opposed them during the election campaign, has come to accept them in order be part of the government. US President Donald Trump also backs annexation.

The Holy See has added its voice to that of the region’s Christian leaders who accuse the international community of apathy in the face of a situation that can undermine peace.

Here is the communiqué issued by the Holy See Press Office.

Today, H.E. Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States, was contacted by telephone by H.E. Saeb Erekat, Chief negotiator and Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The latter wished to inform the Holy See about recent developments in the Palestinian territories and of the possibility of Israeli applying its sovereignty unilaterally to part of those territories, further jeopardising the peace process.

The Holy See reiterates that respect for international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions, is an indispensable element for the two peoples to live side by side in two States, within the borders internationally recognised before 1967.

The Holy See is following the situation closely, and expresses concern about any future actions that could further compromise dialogue, while also expressing its hope that Israelis and Palestinians will be soon able to find once again the possibility for directly negotiating an agreement, with the help of the International Community, so that peace may finally reign in the Holy Land, so beloved by Jews and Christians and Muslims.

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