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American churches call for an end to arms sales to Israel

 Churches for Middle East Peace have issued a statement demanding the cancellation of sales of military helicopters to Israel that were approved in September. The Washington-based coalition includes the American Friends Service Committee, Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Institutes, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Church of the Brethren. According to the statement, the sales were made possible by 1.03 billion dollars in US military assistance funds, include 35 Blackhawk and eight Apache Longbow attack helicopters. The group is calling for a full investigation by the United States Administration into Israel's use of helicopter gunships against Palestinian civilians, as well as the attack on 5 May on the Lebanese electrical infrastructure. Churches for Middle East Peace are committed to the principle of sharing Jerusalem between the two peoples, Israelis and Palestinians, and the three religions that revere the Holy City. In their statement they say: "We appeal to our government to give a higher regard to international law and to press for a resolution based on UN Security Council Resolution 242 which calls for Israeli withdrawal from occupied East Jerusalem."