Life in the Old City, Jerusalem. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC, 2018

Life in the Old City, Jerusalem. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC, 2018

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit on 29 January urged the international community not to support a proposal by US president Trump and Israeli prime minister Netanyahu for dividing up Palestine and Israel - a plan developed with no meaningful participation from the Palestinian people.

“WCC urges members of the international community not to support this proposal or to recognize its implementation unless and until a better plan has been negotiated and agreed with representatives of the Palestinian people and in compliance with the principles of international law regarding belligerent occupation and human rights," said Tveit. “This proposal was developed without meaningful participation by representatives of the Palestinian people, and primarily in line with long-stated Israeli objectives.”

The proposal, called “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of Palestinian and Israeli People,” was presented on 28 January.

“It constitutes an ultimatum, rather than a real, sustainable or just solution,” said Tveit. “Ultimately, any ‘solution’ that is not based on justice and negotiated agreement will be an imposition and an instrument of oppression.”

The WCC continues to study the document and to receive analysis and reactions from member churches and partners in the region. "This proposal recognizes might as right, and disregards principles of international law, justice and accountability,” said Tveit. "The territories ‘allocated’ to Palestinians under this plan are small isolated enclaves with no territorial contiguity, separated by Israeli settlements and connected only by bypasses under Israeli control.”

The WCC holds the ‘two-state solution’ to be the best path forward towards peaceful co-existence for both Palestinians and Israelis. “But it must be a real two-state solution, entailing the establishment of a viable, independent, self-governed Palestinian state, as foreseen in relevant UN resolutions, not simply renaming the current system of occupation and control as a Palestinian ‘state,’ ” said Tveit. “We call upon the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority the recommit to a process of dialogue and negotiations on these foundations.”

Read the full response by the WCC general secretary

Solidarity with churches in the Middle East