“The ‘nakba,’ the catastrophe Palestinian families experienced 75 years ago, continues to cause unresolved dispossession and suffering for many Palestinians—particularly for the people of Gaza,” said Pillay. “That unarmed civilians – including children – are shot at with live ammunition, even killed, and many injured – cannot be defended legally or morally as an expression of ‘the right to self-defense of a state.’
The WCC has consistently affirmed the long-held understanding that the status of the city of Jerusalem must be resolved through peaceful negotiations. “Jerusalem is a shared Holy City of three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,” said Pillay. “We urge the international community to accelerate all efforts toward a just and viable solution which respects the aspirations of all the people living in the Holy Land in line with international conventions and resolutions.”
Pillay also expressed solidarity with a statement from the Council of Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem which reiterates the churches’ call to strive for a just and lasting peace for all people in the Holy Land.
“The statement urges everyone to work together to build a better and more humane future for all,” said Pillay, who also shared a prayer for Palestine and Israel.