Bishop Pates Renews Plea for Secretary Kerry to Urge Israel to Stop Unnecessary Confiscation of Palestinian Lands in Occupied West Bank

January 28, 2014 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The United States should urge the government ofIsrael to cease and desist in efforts to unnecessarily confiscate Palestinianlands in the Occupied West Bank, said the chairman of the Committee ofInternational Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops toSecretary of State John Kerry. In a January 28 letter, Bishop Richard E. Patesof Des Moines, Iowa, specifically addressed the situation in the CremisanValley, which he visited earlier this month.

"As I stood amidst the beauty of this agricultural valleyand heard the testimony of the Christian families whose lands, livelihoods andcenturies-old family traditions are threatened, I was simply astounded by theinjustice of it all," wrote Bishop Pates.

Bishop Pates enclosed a January 28 communique from thebishops of the Holy Land Co-Ordination, which made a similar call:

"Our deep concern, as we have repeatedly stated isthat this planned security wall is more about consolidating the settlementareas and permanently choking off Bethlehem from Jerusalem," wrote bishops fromEurope, North America and South Africa. "This particular plan is a microcosm ofthe tragic situation in the Holy Land which incites resentment and mistrust,making the possibility of a much-needed solution less likely."

The full text of Bishop Pates' letter and the messagefrom bishops on the Holy Land are available online: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/israel-palestine/upload/letter-to-secretary-kerry-from-bishop-pates-on-cremisan-valley-2014-01-28.pdf

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Keywords: Holy Land, Israel, Palestine, peace, conflict,Secretary of State John Kerry, Bishop Richard E. Pates, USCCB, U.S. Conferenceof Catholic Bishops, International Justice and Peace, U.S. bishops

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