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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Holy Land Catholic leaders: Trump peace plan needed Palestinian input

Calling US President Donald Trump’s Peace-to-Prosperity plan a “unilateral initiative,” Church leaders in the Holy Land said it did not give “dignity and rights” to the Palestinians.

“This plan will bring no solution but rather will create more tensions and probably more violence and bloodshed,” the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land said in a statement. The group includes Catholic bishops and patriarchs of different rites as well as the Franciscan custos of the Holy Land and one nun.

In the long-awaited plan, which Trump called the “deal of the century,” the president proposed the possibility of a future independent Palestinian state and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements, creating Israeli enclave communities. The plan also recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital while allowing for a Palestinian capital in villages on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, where, according to the plan, the US would build a future embassy to the Palestinian state.

But, the Church leaders said in their statement, such proposals must be reached with the agreement of both the Israelis and the Palestinians.

“These proposals have to be based on equal rights and dignity,” they added. “The plan Peace-to-Prosperity, presented yesterday, does not contain these conditions.”

Picture: United States President Donald J. Trump. (Oliver Contreras/DPA/PA).