Washington D.C., May 8, 2013 / 16:25 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The U.S. bishops have criticized an Israeli plan to re-route a separation wall through the Cremisan Valley in the West Bank, claiming such a move would harm both Christian families and religious orders.
Protesting “in the strongest terms” and in “solidarity with our brother bishops in the Holy Land,” Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, voiced his opposition to an Israeli tribunal’s decision to move the wall and confiscate the surrounding area.
Bishop Pates, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, addressed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a May 6 letter.
He warned that the “Cremisan Valley is a microcosm of a protracted pattern that has serious implications for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The Cremisan Valley is located in the West Bank, near Bethlehem. A recent decision by the Israeli Special Appeals Committee has approved a proposal to move the Israeli-Palestinian separation wall through the valley.