IN ADVANCE OF NAKBA DAY (15 May), Pax Christi International, the worldwide Catholic peace movement, has issued an urgent appeal to the international community to ‘stop the ongoing Nakba now’.

The appeal is prefaced with a quote from Pope Francis, “Every war stems from injustice, always.”.

The statement begins: “For 74 years on this fateful day, Palestinians, from the river to the sea and in the diaspora, have marked the sombre anniversary of their Nakba (the catastrophe). They remember the 750,000 people who fled the violence upon which the State of Israel was founded and whose return is forbidden. They honour the parents and grandparents who still clutch the keys to family homes beloved by generations but lost to them forever. They mourn the destruction of over 450 Palestinian villages and every treasured olive tree that was uprooted.”

Pax Christi International (PCI) says the pain and tragedy of the Nakba continues today, as Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza continue to relive these realities. As Palestinian homes continue to be demolished or seized and their land confiscated to enable the expansion of illegal settlements, Palestinians face a never-ending cycle of displacement, direct and structural violence and erasure from their homeland which is a violation of their inalienable human rights to freedom.

PCI says it “stands with our Palestinian sisters and brothers in remembering the Nakba. We honour the truth of what occurred, and call on action and solidarity from the international community. This includes:

  • Recognition of the Nakba and the right of return, specifically UN Resolution 194;
  • Acknowledgement that Palestinians have the right to nonviolent, peaceful protest;
  • Insisting that all Palestinians are afforded their human rights as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, among other international and humanitarian laws.

“Reaching a fair and just political solution is the only path to peace. Therefore, as we commemorate Nakba Day once more, we urge for parties to return to the negotiating table to establish a peace agreement that recognises and protects the human dignity and rights of the Palestinian and Israeli people as equals.”

Pax Christi International is a Catholic peace movement with 120 member organisations worldwide which promotes peace, respect for human rights, justice and reconciliation throughout the world. Grounded in the belief that peace is possible and that vicious cycles of violence and injustice can be broken, Pax Christi International addresses the root causes and destructive consequences of violent conflict and war.

* Read the full statement here.

* Source: Pax Christi International