Israel enforces a system of oppression and domination against Palestinians. (File photo: Reuters)
The Israeli occupation’s discrimination against Palestinians was overt and systemic, said the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC), adding that the ongoing half-century-long occupation continues to contradict the equal human dignity and human rights of Palestinians living under this system of control.
The WCC’s governing body said in a statement that “recent events in Israel and Palestine have highlighted the mounting obstacles to a just peace in the region.”
The committee expressed its “deep concern” regarding the “rapidly deteriorating situation,” citing Israel’s recent disruption of Christian religious observances, the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision that gave Israeli settlers the right to expropriate church properties near the Jaffa Gate, the impunity enjoyed by Israeli extremists, and the threat of forced displacement which has begun in many West Bank Palestinian communities.
The statement also pointed to the lack of accountability for the Israeli occupation army’s personnel, which it considered most likely responsible for the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
In addition to calling upon the Israeli occupation authorities “to ensure equal human rights for all people living under their responsibility, and to ensure accountability for attacks and violations against Palestinians, against the holy places, churches, Christian communities, Muslims and other groups…,” the Central Committee appealed to the international community “to speak out against the looming evictions in Masafer Yatta and other threatened displacements of Palestinian communities in the occupied territories.”
The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of 352 churches from more than 120 countries representing over 580 million Christians worldwide.