The World Assembly of Pax Christi has urged all UN-member states to "recognize the state of Palestine and to ban Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine". The 160 participants in the Assembly of the international Catholic peace movement in Bethlehem/West Bank from 13th to 17th of May expressed deep concern about "Israeli policies that deny the rights of the Palestinian people and preclude the possibility of a two state solution." They also pledged support for a "nonviolent struggle to end occupation and Israelis who stand for human rights and international law, including as applied to Palestinians."
The WCC General Secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, greeted Pax Christi on the occasion of its 70th anniversary celebrations in Bethlehem. Tveit commented that the “confidence we share is rooted, perhaps, in the thorny, parched soil of Palestine”. Tveit also gave recognition to how “we have been inspired by the work of your members” in Palestine and around the world, and expressed appreciation of Pax Christi’s active participation in the WCC Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum, and in particular the World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel.
Ma'an News Agency reports that "In the run up to Pope Francis' canonization of two Palestinian nuns, President Mahmoud Abbas commended Palestinian Christians for the 'distinctive dimension' their community and history gives to the Palestinian struggle." "Abbas appealed on Palestinian Christians 'to stay with us and not to be easily swept by the tide of migration'," Ma'an News report.
The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) was launched by the WCC in 2007 to catalyze and co-ordinate new and existing church advocacy for peace, aimed at ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories in accordance with UN resolutions, and demonstrate its commitment to inter-religious action for peace and to justice that serves all peoples of the region.
PIEF acts to
- challenge government support for the occupation
- challenge public support for the occupation
- challenge theological and biblical justifications for the occupation and
- maintain viable the Palestinian Christian presence in the Holy Land.