Building in Jerusalem/ A Catholic Stand

Summery: Those land where the Israelis decided to build new stettlements are for the most Christian Community lands. “Have the Israeli Authorities the intention to reduce the Christian presence and invite Christians to emigrate by confiscating their lands? Asks the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem! The answer is that the Israeli continued their politic of confiscation and decided to build agiast international laws.


PATRIARCHATUS LATNUS

JERUSALEM

Press Release from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Confiscation or lands in the area of Bethlehem

1. The Israeli Authorities have decided to confiscate land In the area of Bethlehem, on the site. called “Abu Ghneim", in the South East of Bethlehem. This Site will be connected with Jerusalem, by a highway, through more land to be confiscated in Beth Sahour, Bethlehem and up the hill in Beit-Jala.

2. The confiscation of any land, in the Palestinian territories, can only provoke opposition and endanger the peace process. We cannot understand such contradictory measures: from one side Palestinians are requested to make paece, on the other side, their lands are confiscated. These confiscations raise in all hearts frustration and despair and are one of the main factors which is exploited by extremists and which lead to more violence. Again, all, people and authorities, want violence to disappear once and for all; but at the same time, measures are taken by the responsible authorities to give more fuel to extremists and to violence.

3. Lands to be conflscated in the area of Bethlehem belong almost in their totality to Christians. It is strange that this confiscation takes place just at the beginning of the Holy Week, on the eve of Palm Sunday, and at the approach of our Paschal feasts. Have the Israeli Authorities the intention to reduce the Christian presence and to invite christians to emigrate, by confiscating their lands?

We do not think so. Therefore we ask Israeli Authoritics to reconsider their decision and to stop these confiscations, in order to build a solid peace and security for all, Israelis and Palestinians, and in order to secure the presence of christians in their lands and In their feasts.