By Fr. Raed Abusahlia, General Director of Caritas Jerusalem on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people 29 November 2014
Dear friends and partners,
Since 1948, we Palestinians have experienced dispossession and exile. Our Diaspora counts
today more than 9 million people all over the world.
Since 1967, we Palestinians continue to live under occupation. Checkpoints, the Separation
wall, lack of access to farmland and violations are part of our daily life.
After decades of fruitless negotiations and faced with a shrinking homeland, nothing has
changed. In fact things are going from bad to worse. Separation, segregation, violation,
demolition, animosity and disrespect for basic human rights are all on the rise.
It has been a very hard year for us. The war in Gaza, the unrest in the West Bank, the ongoing
tension in Jerusalem has devastated all the fragile resources of the Palestinian population in
the Holy Land.
Due to the deterioration of the situation, lack of progress in the peace talks and the expansion
of the settlements, mistrust and enmity between people have increased. Failing to overcome
mistrust will only condemn further generations of Palestinians and Israelis to more conflict
and more suffering.
Let us, on this International Day, pray that the parties cease provocations and create an environment conducive to meaningful negotiations.
The message we want to convey to our Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel is that “Justice to
the Palestinian people is the only fruit of peace and security. Justice will enable both peoples
to live in the beauty of peace in the Holy Land which should be and remain Holy.”
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God