Tuesday, October 16, 2007

CMEP: Halt Israeli Confiscation of Palestinian Land

CMEP Urges U.S. to Halt Israeli Confiscation of Palestinian Land,
Action Undermines Peace Efforts Ahead of Nov. Summit

This message is available online at www.cmep.org/Alerts/2007Oct11.htm

October 11, 2007

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) executive director and board chair faxed a letter yesterday to U.S. Ambassador Richard Jones in Tel Aviv in response to news reports that the Israeli army has ordered the seizure of Palestinian land near East Jerusalem. Copies of the letter were also faxed to key officials at the State Department and National Security Council.

CMEP Letter to Amb. Richard Jones

October 10, 2007
Ambassador Richard Jones
United States Embassy to Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel

Dear Ambassador Jones,

Churches for Middle East Peace is alarmed by news reports - http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/910763.html -
that Israel has ordered confiscation of land from four Arab villages between East Jerusalem and the Jewish settlement of Ma'aleh Adumin. This project undermines U.S. diplomatic efforts to reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and restore hope that the conflict can be resolved with a viable contiguous Palestinian state established alongside Israel. We urge you to impress upon Israel that this project must halt.

The long-held policy of the United States that the status of Jerusalem must be determined by a negotiated agreement and that neither party should take actions that would prejudge the outcome of negotiations must be strongly and consistently asserted by U.S. officials.

While the stated purpose of this land confiscation is for the construction of a modern road to Jericho for Palestinians, it is widely understood that this would set the stage for settlement expansion in the E-1 area. United States objections to the E-1 plan of building 3,500 apartments and an industrial park has thus far prevented Israel from building on this parcel of land (other than the empty police station). We urge the United States to maintain their objection to Israeli use of the E-1 land and to assure Palestinians that this vacant land will remain open and available for development by East Jerusalem's Palestinian population as part of the future state of Palestine.

We are heartened by your diligent work towards a peaceful resolution of this conflict through diplomacy and commend the Administration for convening an international meeting this fall in Annapolis for that purpose. We join you in prayers for the day when the people of Israel and Palestine live as neighbors, both secure and thriving.

Maureen Shea
Chair of the Board

Corinne Whitlatch
Executive Director


Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace is a Washington-based program of the Alliance of Baptists, American Friends Service Committee, Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Armenian Orthodox Church, Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Institutes, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of the Brethren, Church World Service, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Franciscan Friars FM (English Speaking Conference, JPIC Council), Friends Committee on National Legislation, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Maryknoll Missioners, Mennonite Central Committee, Moravian Church in America, National Council of Churches, Presbyterian Church (USA), Reformed Church in America, Unitarian Universalist Association, United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church (GBCS & GBGM).

Churches for Middle East Peace
Email: info@cmep.org
Phone: 202-543-1222
Web: http://www.cmep.org

Churches for Middle East Peace
110 Maryland Ave. NE
Suite 311
DC 20002

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