JERUSALEM (CNS): The Israeli-built wall separating Israel and the Palestinian Territories “constitutes a grave obstacle” to peace in the Middle East, said the heads of Christian Churches in Jerusalem.
“For both nations, the wall will result in a feeling of isolation. Moreover, for many Palestinians it means the depravation of land, livelihood, statehood and family life,” the Christian leaders said in an August 26 statement. “Occupation remains the root cause of the conflict and the continuing suffering in the Holy Land.”
Israel says it is building the wall to keep out suicide bombers, but Palestinians say it is forming ghettos, cutting them off from jobs, tourists and, in some cases, family.
The Church leaders said the wall would have a major negative psychological impact on daily life.
The statement was signed by 10 Christian leaders, including four Catholics – Latin-rite Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem; Franciscan Father Giovanni Battistelli, who is head of the Franciscans who care for holy places in the Holy Land; Fr Mtanios Haddad, who is head of the Greek Catholics in Jerusalem; and Syrian Catholic Bishop Pierre Melki of Jerusalem.