The Jewish Chronicle, London

C-of-E report criticises Israel

A CHURCH of England report has described Israel's "illegal occupation of
the occupied territories" as the cause of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The 70-page booklet - "Demanding Peace: A Church Response to the Al-Aqsa
Intifada" - says that while the current violence is not to be excused, it
should be understood as "symptom of a deeper injustice, namely Israel's
refusal to withdraw from the occupied territories as required under
international law."

Produced by the Church's Board for Social Responsibility, it urges Britain
and other European Union countries to play a "more active role" in the region.

The report also argues that the EU should exclude imports produced in
Jewish settlements from duty-free agreements with Israel - and keep arms
sales to Israel under review "so as to avoid the risk that equipment might
be used for internal repression."

EU aid to the Palestinian Authority should depend on its improving its
"poor" human-rights record.