A Statement by the YWCA of Palestine on the Looming Israeli Annexation of the West Bank
15 July 2020
Although the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu has delayed the annexation of the 30% of the West Bank, including the over 250 illegal Israeli settlements and the Jordan Valley, this does not mean that this illegal move, which is rooted in President Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” announced back in January 2020 is annulled or stopped. For the Palestinians, it is a recipe for perpetuating apartheid and supporting Israel’s continued efforts to eradicate any hopes for a free independent Palestine and erase the Palestinian identity of the land.Read more
Under the theme “Creative Solidarity in Common Fragility,” people of faith all over the world are encouraged to demonstrate the power of prayer during the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel. This special week of prayer coupled with action is annually held 13 – 21 September and includes the International Day of Peace on 21 September.
“Let us pray together for a lasting peace built on justice and dignity for all,” said Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, interim general secretary of the World Council of Churches. “All those in the Holy Land deserve the freedom to lead full lives, now more than ever, in these turbulent times.”Read more
In the midst of a global pandemic, Israel remains committed to moving forward with unlawful plans to annex large swaths of Palestinian territory in the West Bank, in violation of international law and against the urging of the international community.
By preventing the creation of a Palestinian state, annexation would institutionalize an undemocratic system in which Israel would rule permanently over a Palestinian people denied self-determination and equal rights. It would have serious consequences for the stability of the region, putting a negotiated peace even further out of reach.
Palestinians living in the Holy Land already face daily injustices and discrimination. Annexation would entrench the continued denial of Palestinian self-determination, human rights, and dignity.Read more
The Palestinian Authority imposed a new Covid-19 lockdown on Friday, the 3rd of July, which has been extended for a further two weeks with enhanced restrictions. 472 new cases of coronavirus were announced on the 6th of July and there have now been 17 deaths in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The Palestinian Authority has called for the closure of border crossings and for a clampdown on any large gatherings, including weddings and funerals. Israel has recorded more than 330 deaths due to the virus.
Lord, the Covid-19 virus continues to be a cause of great concern and suffering in Israel/Palestine and in many other countries. We pray for wisdom for all those in authority who have to take measures to try to contain infection and yet enable people to earn their livelihoods. We pray for those families in Israel/Palestine and around the world who have lost loved ones to the virus. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer.Read more
Last week, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (MD) introduced an amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prohibit Israel from using U.S. Security Assistance Funds to unilaterally annex Palestinian territory in the West Bank. Senator Van Hollen was joined by twelve other Senators--Patrick Leahy (VT), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Chris Murphy (CT), Tom Udall (NM), Brian Schatz (HI), Martin Heinrich (NM), Bernie Sanders (VT), Tom Carper (DE), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Jeff Merkley (OR.), Tim Kaine (VA), and Sherrod Brown (OH).
With formal annexation of significant parts of the West Bank still on the table, this amendment is a significant and a proactive step forward by ensuring that the US does not financially support annexation and further enable oppression. The US should neither foot the bill, nor provide diplomatic cover for annexation.Read more
An Open Letter from Christian Clergy from the Bethlehem Area
July 7, 2020
Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed (Jeremiah 22:3)
We are writing this letter in our capacity as spiritual leaders of various Christian communities in the Bethlehem Area. The Israeli Government is planning to annex more occupied Palestinian land. According to the information they have released, this process could begin on July 1st. For Palestine, Bethlehem and particularly for its Christian population, this new process of annexation will be particularly catastrophic.Read more
Benjamin Netanyahu’s self-imposed date for annexation of July 1st has come and gone with no changes on the ground. During this time numerous voices from the international community, Palestinian groups, and Israelis have come together to call for the prospect of further annexation of the West Bank to cease.
Lord, we pray that international powers will apply real pressure to the Israeli government and their supporters in the United States to bring an end to the prospect of further illegal annexation of the West Bank. We pray that Palestinians living in the areas under threat will have this threat removed and be able to live in peace. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayer.
Annexation will undermine peace and justice
Ecumenical Statement on the Planned Annexation of Occupied Palestinian Territory
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. (Ps. 103:6)
As faith-based organizations representing believers worldwide, we express our concern over the planned annexation of occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank by the Government of Israel.
Annexation of such territories is in direct violation of international law and goes against several international agreements, UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
We urgently call on the international community to take immediate action to directly address this unilateral action. The new threat of annexation entrenches and compounds the ongoing situation of occupation, that has for far too long undermined the rights and future of Palestinian people.Read more
Written by Dr. Bernard Sabella, Executive Secretary
Department of Service for Palestinian Refugees (DSPR)
Middle East Council of Churches
Dear Partners, Friends and Colleagues,
A remarkable increase in numbers of infected both in Palestine and Israel had dashed hopes that the first phase of Covid-19 infections was indeed behind us. DSPR Jerusalem and the West Bank has resumed field visits to the localities designated for the implementation of projects and activities. Shortly, DSPR-West Bank will share a strategic approach for advocacy regarding the foreseen annexation plan. The effects of annexation are expected to remain with us for years to come.Read more
In response to Cry for Hope, the urgent call to end the oppression of the Palestinian people issued by Kairos Palestine and Global Kairos for Justice, the General Ministers and Presidents of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, as well as the Co-Executives of Global Ministries, have released a "Message and Call in Response to the Kairos Palestine Cry for Hope. The Rev. Teresa Hord Owens and the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Ministers and Presidents of the Disciples and UCC, respectively, and the Rev. Dr. Julia Brown Karimu and the Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, Co-Executives of Global Ministries, having received the Cry for Hope, have taken the opportunity to reach out to members of the two churches. In their message, they offer ways that the Cry for Hope can be studied and acted on by church members. They also reiterate their strong opposition to anticipated Israeli efforts to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, and to occupation.Read more