Caritas urges day of prayer today for Holy Land peace
Caritas Australia Chairman Bishop Hilton Deakin has called on the community to pray today for "an end of the violence and suffering in Palestine and for a just peace in the Holy Land".
"The land which saw the birth of three of the world's great religions continues to be violated by war and injustice," he said. "The Israelis and the Palestinians must negotiate a compromise so that they can share the land in peace."
Caritas Australia is joining with all 154 members of the Caritas Internationalis network in calling for an end to the presence of Israeli troops in the occupied territories. This will mean the withdrawal of all Israeli troops, checkpoints, blockades, curfews, closures and any other obstacles to the free movement of people.
"The illegal occupation of Palestine is at the root of the current violence," said Bishop Hilton. "Caritas Australia is deeply concerned for the people of Palestine who endure constant suffering and daily humiliations. The people live in constant fear."
"The long and short-term effects of the occupation on the health and nutrition of the people of Palestine especially the children cannot be over-estimated."
Caritas Australia provided $40,000 earlier this year in immediate assistance to Caritas Jerusalem's efforts to assist those affected by the violence in the Holy Land.
The Caritas International network is pushing for respect for human rights in the Middle East. This includes economic, civil, political, social, cultural and including the right to development.
Caritas Internationalis | For peace in the holy land: end the occupation (advocacy paper) | A choice between peace and bloodshed (advocacy paper)
Palestinian Christians face ethnic cleansing - Dr Abe Ata (National Catholic Reporter)
Vatican urges international to halt Mideast violence (11/11/02)
29 Nov 2002