Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches of Jerusalem Statement on the Israeli

March 29, 2006

By Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches of Jerusalem

The Israeli citizens voted yesterday for a new Knesset, from whose members a
Government is expected to be established within the coming weeks. However,
this election does not end the concerns from possible continuation of the
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict for long time to come.

Despite today's publication of the Israeli election results, it is clear to
us that the politician who is going to formulate the coming Israeli
government will continue to have significant margins of operation, between
resuming the Peace Process with the Palestinians and further escalating the
relations with them.

On this occasion we wish to express our concerns regarding the frequent
talks on Israeli intensions to proceed in implementing unilateral measures
in the West Bank, while seemingly ignoring the Palestinians and their
democratically-elected leadership.

We urge the elected Israeli leadership to demonstrate courage and wisdom by
resuming the Peace Process with the Palestinians. At the same time, we urge
the Palestinian leaders to send a clear message of peace to the Israeli
citizens, as well. We are confident that the vast majority of the Israelis
and Palestinians are tired from the Conflict and eager to live in security,
peace and justice.

The International Community is called to explain to all parties, but
especially to the Israeli decision-makers, who are the dominant
decision-makers for the time-being in the Holy Land, that unilateral
measures will probably bring some temporary solutions, but such measures
will not end the mutual mistrust and misunderstanding between the two
peoples living in this beloved and blessed Land.

Our prayers are with all peoples and leaders, especially those who will work
for peace and justice in the Holy Land based on International Law and
resolutions and not on unilateral dictations or violence. As Christian
leaders we are determined to do all we can to promote peace, mutual
understanding and justice amongst all, hoping to find a similar
determination from the religious leaders of Judaism and Islam.

Finally we would express a message of hope and trust in the Almighty that
our peoples and Land will enjoy, someday, peace and prosperity, based on
respect to all human beings.

Jerusalem, March 29, 2006

a.. Patriarch Theophilos III: Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
b.. Patriarch Michel Sabbah: Latin Patriarchate.
c.. Patriarch Torkom II: Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate.
d.. Pier Battista Pizzaballa, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land
e.. Anba Abraham: Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate.
f.. Swerios Malki Mourad: Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate.
g.. Abune Grima: Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
h.. Paul Nabil Sayyah: Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate.
i.. Bishop Riah Abu Al-Assal: Episcopal Church of Jerusalem & the Middle
j.. Bishop Mounib Younan: Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan & the Holy
k.. Pierre Malki, Exarch for the Syrian Catholics - Jerusalem
l.. Archimandrite Mtanious Haddad: Greek Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate.

Source: Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches of Jerusalem

Samuel Martin
Communications Officer
Caritas Jerusalem
P O Box 20894
Phone: 972 2 628 7574
Fax: 972 2 628 8421