RAMALLAH, September 16, 2014 – (WAFA) – Premier Rami Hamdallah called on Tuesday pro-Palestinian Christians, especially US Christians, to visit the occupied Palestinian Territory as a gesture of solidarity.
The Premier made his call during a meeting with a delegation from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops at his office in Ramallah. The meeting was attended by Presidential Advisor for Christian Affairs Ziad al-Bandak and Council of Ministers’ Secretary-General Ali Abu Dayak.
The Premier stressed the need of pro-Palestinian Christians from all over the world, particularly the US, to visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a gesture of support and solidarity, noting the fraternity relations that have existed throughout history among the Palestinians from different faith groups and affirming the fact that the history of Christianity is an integral part of the Palestinian history and heritage.
He thanked the Catholic Church for the support it has been providing to many humanitarian projects in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, especially in the education sector.
Head of the Delegation briefed Hamdallah on the purpose of their visit, namely to support the regional peace-making efforts towards the realization of the two-state solution.
The America Magazine reported in this regard that the delegation is visiting the region in a pilgrimage from September 10-19 and that this pilgrimage includes visits and prayer at various holy sites in Jerusalem, Galilee, Nazareth and Bethlehem.
It quoted Bishop Pates as saying: “Our pilgrimage could not come at a more critical moment. The conflict between Israel and Hamas, the latest of far too many cycles of violence, has seriously eroded hope for peace in the Holy Land. Prayer for peace is needed now more than ever.”
It reported that this pilgrimage is sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Relief Services, the International Relief and development agency of the U.S. bishops.