bars and fence

Israeli forces have blocked entrances and exits to camp and surrounding areas, affecting more than 100,000 people.

Palestinians in the camp and surrounding neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem have launched a general strike in protest against the days-long siege by Israeli forces that has affected severely access to basic services.

Rev. Canon Donald Binder, undersecretary of the Council of Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, explained: A general strike has been called in East Jerusalem on 12 October in protest of the continuing police closure of the…Shuafat Refugee Camp, which is viewed by the Palestinian community as a form of collective punishment.

Police are still searching for a gunman there who shot and killed an Israeli border guard earlier in the week, wounding three others, one seriously. Binder said the current situation reflects a pattern of retaliation that has been in occurring for decades.

And until the two sides begin talking rather than shooting at each other, this cycle of violence will only continue to spiral downwards,” said Binder.

WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, noted that international humanitarian law says that no person may be punished for acts that he or she did not commit.

Churches are committed to protecting human rights, especially in this deepening division and worsening pattern of retaliation that is impacting more than 100,000 vulnerable people within the Shuafat Refugee Camp,” said Sauca. We continue to pray for justice and peace and for the protection of human dignity for those in the camp and all those living under occupation.”