On Monday 17 August, Israeli bulldozers arrived on private properties in Beir Ona, near the Cremisan Valley, to resume construction of the controversial separation wall.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has condemned the move and has called on the Israeli authorities to down tools and await the decision of the Supreme Court on a petition submitted by the families of the Valley a few days ago.
Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Department for International Affairs has issued a statement on the construction in Cremisan:
“I add my voice to that of His Beatitude Patriarch Twal in condemning the latest move by the Israeli authorities to displace the people of Cremisan from their land and threatening their livelihoods.
“The action of the IDF in bulldozing olive trees to prepare for the construction of the separation barrier is a cruel blow to the hopes raised by the recent Supreme Court ruling.
“I urge the Israeli authorities to stop construction and reconsider urgently their approach to the people of the Cremisan valley which has caused such grave injustice.
“As always my prayers and thoughts are with the people who are facing this unjust and difficult situation and who are seeking peace in the midst of this conflict.”
Chair, Department of International Affairs
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
Note: ‘IDF’ is an acronym for Israel Defense Forces.
The Bishops’ Consultant on the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region discussed this issue in a recent Middle East Analysis podcast. Listen to a clip using the player to the right of this article.