Arab News, Wednesday, 20, June, 2007 (04, Jumada al-Thani, 1428)
Church Leaders Meet on Arab-Israeli Conflict
Abdul Jalil Mustafa, Arab News
AMMAN, 20 June 2007 - More than 100 church leaders started a meeting in Amman
yesterday in a bid to find a solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict that ensures an end to
the 40-year-old Israeli occupation of Arab land, conferees said.
"The situation is grave ... unending loss of life, displacement of persons, violations of
human rights, humiliation of one people by another, degrading perpetrator as well as
victim. Injustice is deeply rooted in the land we call ‘Holy’," World Council of
Churches (WCC) Secretary-General Reverend Samuel Kobia said.
"This conviction has only grown through 40 years of illegal occupation of the
Palestinian territory," Kobia said in keynote address to the meeting that opened
The three-day WCC international peace conference grouped representatives for its 347
member churches in six continents that represent 550 million Christians worldwide,
Patriarch Michel Sabbah, speaking on behalf of the heads of churches in Jerusalem,
briefed the meeting on the daily sufferings in the Palestinian territories. He expressed
hope that the conference would come up with "a vision of peace, based on justice and
mutual recognition, respect and hence final reconciliation."
"We lived 40 years under occupation. Until today ... we are deprived of the freedom
due to every people or human being, freedom of movement or political and economic
freedom," he said.
Meanwhile, Jordan’s largest political party, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), said
yesterday that it "understood" the pretexts cited by the Hamas movement for its
takeover of the Gaza Strip.
However, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, said in a statement
that it "rejected the geographical and political partition of the Palestinian people," a
reference to the existence of two administrations in Gaza and the West Bank.
Given the pressures to which Hamas was exposed since its sweeping victory in the
January 2006 elections, "we understand the justifications which forced the Islamic
movement to take such a step in order to deal with the state of anarchy that thwarted
any progress in the Palestinian national project," the IAF said.
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