Israeli settlements, built over 52 years, are the largest physical obstacle to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Photo via: Middle East Online
Leading ecumenical organizations have urged the international community to oppose Israel’s planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, reported Wafa news agency.
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), together with the World Council of Churches (WCC), the World Comm of Reformed Churches (WCRC) and the Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance issued a statement calling for an end to the occupation and for a resumption of dialogue to build lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
The Israeli government has said it plans to effectively annex parts of the West Bank by extending its sovereignty to areas that contain Jewish settlements, as well as parts of the Jordan valley. The settlements are considered illegal under international law and an obstacle to a proposed 'two state solution’ in the region, said the statement.
The ecumenical organizations said the planned annexation “is in direct violation of international law” and would further threaten hopes for justice and peace in the region.
They warned it would “undermine even more the rights of Palestinians, reducing their mobility, their access to land and livelihoods, to adequate infrastructure and basic services,” as well as increasing forced displacement and putting at risk access by humanitarian organizations.
The organizations pledged to continue working for peace in the Holy Land, insisting that “peace can never be unilaterally imposed or achieved by violent means.”