Caritas expresses solidarity with Palestinian people

 Caritas Internationalis issued the following statement on Monday, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People: With deepest hopes amidst sustained apprehensions, our Caritas Internationalis Catholic confederation of relief, development and humanitarian organizations offers both our individual and collective solidarity to the Palestinian people with their long search for peace based on equal rights, especially self-determination, and true sustainable justice in the land that is home to nearly four million Palestinians. We stand with all people in need living in the land today. We do not stand against one person over another, one community over another, one state over another in waiting. We work daily to relieve misery and hopelessness through practical acts of compassion and human development, as members of civil society investing in a better future for all. We approach this day of international recognition for the Palestinian people with a reiteration of our commitment to work with all peoples of good will and respect for others to lift up their human rights and dignity. It is never enough to simply speak about these humanitarian necessities. We are all stakeholders, struggling to build up what has been lacking, while working together to remove every kind of wall that wilfully separates innocent people from the life their Creator has given to them. We stand in solidarity to support and sustain life. We do so united with all our staff, colleagues and partners on the ground, with their families and neighbours. We stand with all Palestinians and Israelis who work for peace today. We stand with national and international NGO colleagues witnessing constantly to the untiring belief in humanity's ability to transform even the darkest difficulties. The international community has stood by for decades healing with human and economic assistance, commenting, and sometimes clamouring for action to end the conflict, to end the occupation, to cease the spiral of violence and gross disorder in the land. We recognize the impediments to peace where new constructions by one side both visibly and invisibly destruct the other side, where concrete facts on the ground destroy the human spirit and the will to try to trust once more. From the beginning of this long conflict the international community has brought forward resolutions, legal instruments, declarations and agreements to help the conflicting parties reach a sustainable solution. Caritas Internationalis pledges its continued solidarity on the basis of international and humanitarian law. We know the phrase "peace is possible" to be something more vital than a slogan or a campaign. Peace requires respect for and application of international law. We call upon Palestinian and Israeli leaders to uphold the basic measures of international law, to use these life-saving instruments for something greater than politics or policy. We implore leaders of the international community to commit themselves seriously to the Roadmap. Each deliberate partnership in this process brings forward the welcome light of a new moment. We call for an end to the occupation so that the possibilities for peace in the land, as well as the region, might authentically surface again. We call on the international community to invest in this moment of reconsidered possibilities, to be an abiding, even monitoring presence, to ensure humane accompaniment and objective assessments for practical movement forward. We call on Palestinians and Israelis to engage with each other as human beings, as neighbours, respectful of differences. The rounds of chaos and violence escalate the desperation which is endured inside homes and hearts, schools and streets, places of worship and healing. The crisis multiplies a kind of degrading madness which breeds reckless behaviour and belligerent authorities. None of this brutalisation or demonisation has ever contributed to peacemaking. We condemn, as always, every form of violence whatever its source. We stand apart from every action that wilfully diminishes the humanity of other persons. We seek to be the very bridges between peoples which permit Palestinians and Israelis to transcend the walls which have so long separated them and the possibilities for peace. We see beyond the deadlock. Caritas Internationalis is a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development, and aid agencies, including CAFOD, SCIAF and Trocaire.

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