Moving forward with an Israeli plan to unilaterally annex West Bank land could mean the end to the already languishing Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, said the heads of the Holy Land churches.
“An array of plans for Israel to unilaterally annex West Bank land, backed mainly by right-wing factions, raises serious and catastrophic questions about the feasibility of any peaceful agreement to end the decades-long conflict, one that continues to cost many innocent lives as part of a vicious cycle of human tragedy and injustice,” the Church leaders said in their statement.
Among those who signed the 7th May statement were Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and Franciscan Fr Francesco Patton, custos of the Holy Land.
Also in early May, Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett initially approved a construction project that has been under discussion for 20 years and would see 7,000 new housing units built in the West Bank Israeli settlement of Efrat, expanding the settlement toward its border with Bethlehem.
A new government coalition agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz allows Netanyahu to present his long-discussed annexation proposal to the government as soon as 1st July.
Picture: The Israeli settlement Har Homa is seen on the hillside overlooking houses in Bethlehem in the valley in the West Bank, in this 3rd December 2019, photo. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank. (CNS photo/Debbie Hill).