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Palestinian displacement blocking 'just peace', churches tell EU

Categories: Articles:Peacemaking | Published: 23/04/2014 | Views: 1697
APRODEV and CIDSE, two influential church-related development networks, have condemned the forced displacement of Palestinians in the West Bank, which they say is "uprooting any chance of a just peace".  They urge the European Union (EU) to address systematically issues of property destruction and forced displacements, to protect the rights of Palestinians. (Ekklesia)

The statement was drafted by the APRODEV, an association of European development agencies related to the WCC, together with the CIDSE, an international alliance of Catholic development agencies. Both organisations are networks of non-governmental organisations, or NGOs.

APRODEV and CIDSE welcome the specific attention the EU has devoted to issues of demolition and displacement and express their hopes to see stronger and more effective actions in future to counter such illegal policies.

APRODEV and CIDSE encourage the EU to review its aid projects so that they do not recognise unlawful Israeli policies driving forcible transfer and settlement expansion. They also ask the EU to advocate for the transfer of planning authority to Palestinian institutions, in line with international humanitarian law.

APRODEV, together with the CIDSE, have been instrumental in influencing decision-making processes in the EU institutions in order to promote justice and peace in Israel and Palestine.

The statement follows a recent resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) warning about business and financial activities in Israeli settlements. The resolution echoes concerns that many churches have expressed against human rights violations resulting from such trade-related activities.

The WCC’s Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) encourages such stances from the EU and the UN against demolitions and displacements in Area C, as contravening international law, said Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, the WCC’s Associate General Secretary for Public Witness and Diakonia.  Read more here

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