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    » 01/15/2010, 00.00

    ISRAEL – PALESTINE

    Distance between Israelis and Palestinians growing in Jerusalem, Catholic bishops say



    Prelates from Europe and North America lament the violence, insecurity and home demolitions in the Holy City because they are widening the gap between the two peoples and threaten the Christian presence in the Holy Land. Solutions are clear; what is lacking is leaders’ political will and courage.
    Jerusalem (AsiaNews/HLC) – Eight bishops from Europe and North America have lamented the growing distance between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and the lack of will by political authorities to achieve peace.

    The prelates belong to Holy Land Coordination, an association that fosters solidarity between Western and Eastern bishops. Since 1998, they have travelled to the Holy Land each year to meet the region’s religious leaders and prominent figures.

    At the end of their trip yesterday, the bishops said that eight months after Benedict XVI’s visit to the region as a pilgrim of peace, “the two state solution does not seem any closer.”

    In their press release, they noted that whilst many want peace, “The solutions are well known to leaders, but what is needed is political will and courage.”

    The trip took the bishops to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, and other places. However, it is the situation in Jerusalem that has alarmed them the most.

    “There is a growing distance between Israelis and Palestinians—a lack of human contact that undermines trust and dialogue. Violence, insecurity, home demolitions, permit and visa problems, the route of the wall, expropriation of lands and other policies threaten both a two-state solution and the Christian presence.”

    In their statement, the bishops also called for the “full implementation of the Fundamental Agreement” between the Holy See and the State of Israel, which has been waiting for 16 years to be put into practice. By facilitating visas for pastoral workers, it “will enable the Church to fulfil its mission.”

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    See also

    04/07/2004 vatican - israel
    Thanks to the US, Negotiations with the Holy See Are Back on Track


    17/04/2008 ISRAEL - HOLY SEE
    Cordiality and signs of mutual trust between the Jewish state and the Vatican
    This is what is emerging from the meeting of the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission, which renews its commitment to accelerate the conclusion of an agreement. Among the objectives, the restitution of the Cenacle. The plenary meeting in Rome on May 28.

    29/06/2006 ISRAEL – PALESTINE – VATICAN
    Fr Jaeger: Peace between Israel and PLO only solution

    While tension escalates in Gaza, the agreement announced among Palestinians, which would lead to recognition of Israel, is a positive factor, despite the risk of the "Islamisation" of the PLO. The tragedy of the Holy Land will only come to an end with an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Then there is the difficult situation of Christians, and hopes that Israeli law will acknowledge the Agreement with the Holy See.



    13/01/2011 ISRAEL – PALESTINE
    European and North American bishops complain Israel-Holy See negotiations dragging on
    The Holy Land Co-ordination complains that “the Pope’s words during his visit in 2009 to allow ease of movement for Catholic clergy and Religious seem to have gone unheard.” The bishops tell Christians from around the world “that every visit to the Holy Land brings benefits both to pilgrims and the people who live here, especially the Christian community.”

    13/12/2006 VATICAN - ISRAEL
    Holy See-Israel: painstaking resumption of negotiations
    An interview-analysis with Oded Ben Hur, Israeli ambassador to the Vatican on the reasons for delays and difficulties. At the root of it all is Israel’s refusal to recognize that the Fundamental Agreement is an international treaty.



    Editor's choices

    POLAND - CHINA - WYD
    Beijing's tricks and violence to stop Chinese youth from reaching WYD

    Vincenzo Faccioli Pintozzi

    The government yesterday blocked a group of 50 young pilgrims who had already boarded a plane bound for Krakow. Interrogated for hours by immigration, they were "admonished" and sent home with orders not to contact anyone abroad. Meanwhile, "young Chinese Catholics" hang around central World Youth Day locations in groups of five or six, with the task of spying on fellow countrymen. They work for cultural institutes or Chinese companies in Poland.


    POLAND – CHINA – WYD
    "Our dream is to bring World Youth Day to China, despite government obstacles”



    The big Chinese delegation in Krakow for 31st World Youth Days has not lost hope. “The government has done so much to discourage us, but they cannot win all the time.” One day the Pope “will celebrate young people in China." Participants express the joy and the wonder of being in Poland. “Religious aspect of this trip aside, the trip is a source of wonder. At home, it is like living in a kind of cultural prison”; what impresses here “the most so far is meeting the world.”


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