Catholic relief agency calls for negotiations, majority of Palestinians agree

Catholic relief agency calls for negotiations, majority of Palestinians agree

.- As Catholic relief agency Caritas Internationalis released a statement calling for peace negotiations in the Middle East, a new poll was released indicating more than 65 percent of Palestinians favor of resuming peace negotiations with Israel.

In a statement based on the social teaching of the Church, and in line with International Humanitarian Law, Caritas has called for “an end to all violence, and the beginning of constructive negotiations geared towards long-term solutions.” Caritas Internationalis is a Vatican-based federation of national Catholic relief and development agencies worldwide.

"Indiscriminate bombings and hostage taking are against all moral and humanitarian laws and principles,” says the statement, reissued to the public again yesterday by Caritas Jerusalem.

"Caritas believes that a just peace is possible in the Middle East, and urges the international community and political leaders to uphold international law and help the people of Israel, of Palestine, and of Lebanon to step back from the brink of full-scale war," the statement reads.

In the meantime, a poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Public Opinion, indicates that a majority of Palestinians are in favor of finding a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Of those polled, 96 percent favor solving the problem of the Israeli detainees in return for some advantages, and 47 percent favor the release of the soldiers in return for the release of Palestinian women and children detained in the Israeli prisons. Forty-nine percent of Palestinians think the current embargo in the Territories "might be removed by establishing a national united government"; 25 percent believe Israel must be recognized.

While the poll demonstrated that most Palestinians trust President Abu Mazen, most Palestinians (77 percent) said they are concerned about the future of their families.

The survey included a sample of 1,050 adult Palestinians residents in Gaza, East Jerusalem and Cisjordan. 

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