news from ekklesia

By staff writers
March 25, 2004

Franciscans Condemn Apartheid Wall at UN Commission

-25/3/04

Franciscans International (FI) has called on the United Nationsí top human rights body to unequivocally condemn Israelís security wall as an act of unlawful annexation.

It has also urged the Israeli government to immediately stop construction of the .4 billion barrier which some Palestinians now call the "Apartheid Wall"

ìAs a Franciscan living in Jerusalem, I can testify to the flagrant human rights violations that take place daily due to the wallís erection,î said Fr Marco Malagola OFM on 24 March at the 60th UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

The Italian-born friar heads the Justice and Peace Commission of the Custody of the Holy Land.

ìWe fully understand Israelís need to protect its citizens from indiscriminate terrorist attacks,î Fr Malagola said. But he pointed out that the wall would violate the basic human rights Palestinians who live in the West Bank, including the right to self-determination.

Israel began building the planned 700 km long security barrier in 2002 in order to separate itself from the West Bank. It has completed about a one-fourth of the project.

ìThe wall will affect more than 210,000 Palestinians,î the FI delegate told the CHR, ìdenying them the access to basic human rights, including freedom of movement, right to health, food and education.î

Fr Malagola predicted that the barrier would create a profound humanitarian crisis in the region. He said the Franciscans the views of a highly critical 13-page report presented to the CHR earlier by the UN special rapporteur for the occupied territories, John Dugard.

ìWe urge Israel to end the occupation ... to refrain from pursuing the erection of the wall, and to start to cooperate fully with the special rapporteur as a concrete way to show the governmentís commitment to internationally recognized human rights standards,î he said.

Fr Malagola was the founding director of the International Justice and Peace Office of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor in Rome.

Franciscans International is a non-governmental organization (NGO) with General Consultative status at the UN. It operates under the sponsorship of the Conference of the Franciscan Family (CFF) and seeks to bringing spiritual, ethical, and Franciscan values to United Nations forums and agendas.

It closely follows the tradition of Saint Francis, striving to bring Franciscan ideals into practice at the international level. Specifically it is guided by St. Francisís loving concern for the poor, care of creation, and peacemaking.

Franciscans Condemn Apartheid Wall at UN Commission

-25/3/04

Franciscans International (FI) has called on the United Nationsí top human rights body to unequivocally condemn Israelís security wall as an act of unlawful annexation.

It has also urged the Israeli government to immediately stop construction of the .4 billion barrier which some Palestinians now call the "Apartheid Wall"

ìAs a Franciscan living in Jerusalem, I can testify to the flagrant human rights violations that take place daily due to the wallís erection,î said Fr Marco Malagola OFM on 24 March at the 60th UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

The Italian-born friar heads the Justice and Peace Commission of the Custody of the Holy Land.

ìWe fully understand Israelís need to protect its citizens from indiscriminate terrorist attacks,î Fr Malagola said. But he pointed out that the wall would violate the basic human rights Palestinians who live in the West Bank, including the right to self-determination.

Israel began building the planned 700 km long security barrier in 2002 in order to separate itself from the West Bank. It has completed about a one-fourth of the project.

ìThe wall will affect more than 210,000 Palestinians,î the FI delegate told the CHR, ìdenying them the access to basic human rights, including freedom of movement, right to health, food and education.î

Fr Malagola predicted that the barrier would create a profound humanitarian crisis in the region. He said the Franciscans the views of a highly critical 13-page report presented to the CHR earlier by the UN special rapporteur for the occupied territories, John Dugard.

ìWe urge Israel to end the occupation ... to refrain from pursuing the erection of the wall, and to start to cooperate fully with the special rapporteur as a concrete way to show the governmentís commitment to internationally recognized human rights standards,î he said.

Fr Malagola was the founding director of the International Justice and Peace Office of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor in Rome.

Franciscans International is a non-governmental organization (NGO) with General Consultative status at the UN. It operates under the sponsorship of the Conference of the Franciscan Family (CFF) and seeks to bringing spiritual, ethical, and Franciscan values to United Nations forums and agendas.

It closely follows the tradition of Saint Francis, striving to bring Franciscan ideals into practice at the international level. Specifically it is guided by St. Francisís loving concern for the poor, care of creation, and peacemaking.

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