Church leaders are calling on the British authorities to cease annexing the West Financial institution
(Photo: Unsplash / Cole Keister)
Catholic and Anglican bishops have asked the British government to prevent the annexation of the West Bank.
Israel is preparing to annex parts of the West Bank from July 1, which the leaders of the Church firmly oppose.
Rt. Rev. Declan Lang, Catholic Bishop of Clifton and chairman of the coordinating group for the Holy Land, and Rt. Rev. Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark and Anglican representative of the group, said the annexation plans were not supported by local communities.
"From our dialogue with the parishes in the Holy Land we know firsthand that the situation is deteriorating rapidly. The annexation would only lead to more conflicts, suffering and division," they said.
"The UK government has a duty to act and do everything it can to prevent the Israeli government from annexing the West Bank in violation of international law.
"This week we made statements to the government and senior parliamentarians on the situation.
"Together with other churches and religious communities, we will continue to work on this fundamental question of justice and peace."
Her comments follow strong criticism of the plans of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
In letters to Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, they said that "they clearly support the fundamental right of Israeli citizens to live in peace and security, but these prospects can only be secured through negotiations and not through annexation."
They raised concerns from Church leaders in the Holy Land that annexing the West Bank territory "would result in the loss of any remaining hope for the success of the peace process."
The leader of the World Evangelical Alliance has also questioned the move. In a statement, Bishop Efraim Tendero reiterated concerns that annexing the West Bank territory could end hope for a negotiated peace.
"While evangelicals around the world have broad views on the many complex issues in the Holy Land, there is no doubt that the proposed annexation plans are harmful to both Israelis and Palestinians, so we clearly reject such plans," he said.
"The WEA has members of the Evangelical Alliance, who represent both peoples, and we seek and pray for peace and prosperity not only for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Israel and Palestine, but for everyone who lives in the Holy Land."
He added: "We pray for wisdom for all concerned and for renewed engagement in negotiations in which both sides respect the existence and needs of both peoples, refrain from discrimination and violence and work in good faith to find solutions that will bring lasting results bring peace. "