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Resolution on Ecumenical Response to the Palestine-Israeli conflict

The Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches, meeting in Geneva, 11-14 September 2001, alarmed and dismayed by the escalation of violence in the Holy Land since the Central Committee adopted its last "Minute on the Situation in the Holy Land After the Outbreak of the Second Palestinian Uprising" in Potsdam, February 2001;

14 September 2001

The Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches, meeting in Geneva, 11-14 September 2001,

alarmed and dismayed by the escalation of violence in the Holy Land since the Central Committee adopted its last "Minute on the Situation in the Holy Land After the Outbreak of the Second Palestinian Uprising" in Potsdam, February 2001;

expresses its profound condolences to all the victims of the conflict, and especially to the families of those who have been killed in both Palestine and Israel;

recalls and reaffirms the policies of the World Council of Churches on the pursuit of a just peace in the Middle East, and for the status of Jerusalem; and its commitment to active dialogue among Christians, Muslims and Jews;

reiterates its appeal to the parties directly involved and to the international community to bring an end to aggressive acts and the violence that have again overtaken the Holy Land and threaten international peace and security;

welcomes and affirms the initiatives undertaken by the General Secretary and staff of the World Council of Churches in implementing the recommendations of the Central Committee in Potsdam by promoting an active, coordinated ecumenical response to end the illegal occupation of Palestine; expressing solidarity with the Churches and Christian Communities most directly affected; and providing auspices for member churches to develop a plan of concerted non-violent ecumenical action to protect vulnerable communities in Palestine and to promote an end to the hostilities;

requests the WCC General Secretary and staff to continue and intensify their facilitating and coordinating role for ecumenical advocacy, networking, communication and active solidarity with the victims of the conflict;

welcomes and endorses the recommendations of the WCC delegation to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories including Jerusalem in June 2001 as further developed by the International Ecumenical Consultation on the Palestinian - Israeli Conflict held in Geneva, 6-7 August 2001:

  • develop an accompaniment programme that would include an international ecumenical presence based on the experience of the Christian Peacemakers Team;
  • call upon the WCC member churches and ecumenical partners, in the context of the Decade to Overcome Violence: Churches Seeking Reconciliation and Peace, to focus attention in 2002 on intensive efforts to End the Illegal Occupation of Palestine, and to participate actively in coordinated ecumenical efforts in this connection;
  • consider the organization of an International Conference on the Illegal Occupation of Palestine, bringing together representatives of the churches, ecumenical partner organizations, competent international bodies, scholars and experts in 2002 as part of the special ecumenical focus on efforts to End the Occupation of Palestine;
  • call for an international boycott of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories; call on member churches and Christians to join in non-violent acts of resistance to the destruction of Palestinian properties and to forced evictions of people from their homes and lands; and
  • join in international prayer vigils to strengthen the "chain of solidarity" with the Palestinian people;

calls upon member churches and ecumenical funding partners to respond as a matter of urgency to this appeal, and to make available the necessary resources for the WCC to be able to fulfill its tasks and responsibilities in relationship to the proposed coordinated ecumenical action plan;

requests the General Secretary to bring the present resolution to the attention of member churches, ecumenical partners, competent UN bodies and specialized agencies, regional intergovernmental bodies and to Governments of their member states, and to make a progress report on implementation to the next meeting of the Executive Committee.