JERUSALEM, December 6, 2014 – (WAFA) – The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (ACOHL) stated Fridayin a press release that the best time to take action on the Cremisan Valley’s case is now before it is too late.
ACOHL stated that it “observes with anxiety the latest developments in the Cremisan Valley’s case, pertaining to the building of the separation wall in the Cremisan Valley, of which the final verdict is expected any minute now.”
ACOHL considered that the last hearing held by the Israeli High Court on Tuesday November 30, “was meant to pressure the residents in order to make a choice between two unacceptable alternatives, both to the community and the Salesian Congregation.”
It maintained that it “stands wholeheartedly with achieving justice in Cremisan and against building the separation wall, which is contrary to international law.”
Contrary to Israeli allegations that the wall is built for security reasons, ACOHL maintained that “the wall is intended by Israel not to achieve security for its pre-June 1967 borders, but to protect the settlements illegally constructed on previously confiscated land in the early seventies and to give more expansion to Gilo and Har Gilo settlements.”
“At the same time, the wall alienates the most basic rights and freedom of the Christian community of Beit Jala,” it added.
ACOHL stressed that “land confiscation and settlement expansion do not serve peace in the region” and warned of “the continuous emigration of the Cremisan community, mostly Christians, as a result of building the separation wall.
ACOHL expressed it hopes that the Israeli High Court changes its route and shifts it along the green line, affirming that “the bishops are in favor of building bridges and not walls.”
“ACOHL calls on the international community to take immediate action to protect the Cremisan valley’s integrity within the Palestinian side and prays for all those in power and authority to wake up and realize the values of justice and peace, based on mutual respect and international legitimacy” it concluded.