STATEMENT – It is of great concern learning that sixty Palestinians were killed on May 14, 2018, and about 3,000 were wounded during protests that were held near Gaza border fence with Israel.
These casualties, or most of them, could have been avoided if non-lethal tools had been used by the Israeli forces.
We do call all parties involved to avoid use of violence and to find ways to end siege imposed on about two million Palestinians in Gaza Strip as soon as possible.
In the meantime, we witnessed on the same day the relocation of the American Embassy to the State of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As we already said in the past, any unilateral move or decision about the Holy City of Jerusalem doesn’t contribute to advancing the long awaited peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
We use this opportunity to express our commitment to the position, which was reflected several times by the Holy See, on the necessity to make Jerusalem a city open to all peoples, the religious heart of the three monotheistic religions, and to avoid unilateral measures. We believe that there is no reason that could prevent the City from being the capital of Israel and Palestine, but this should be done through negotiation and mutual respect.
Due to these sad developments, and as the Feast of Pentecost is approaching, we call all churches in specific and all peoples in general to lift their prayers to the Almighty God to bring peace and justice to peoples in the Holy Land, Middle East and entire world. For this purpose, we call our churches as well as other churches and faithful of other religions to hold prayers for peace and justice in the Holy Land.
May 15, 2018