WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES (WCC) General Secretary, the Rev Prof Dr Jerry Pillay has called for an end to the Israeli military’s assault in Jenin. The WCC condemns the assault and calls for the cessation of all violence in the West Bank, including that from Israeli settlers.

“The assault by Israel’s military on Jenin Refugee Camp has left 12 people killed, 120 injured including 20 in critical condition, while thousands fled their homes”, he said on 5 July. “Also, the Latin Patriarchate announced that their church in Jenin was damaged due to the attack.”

Pillay noted that the Orthodox and Latin churches in Jenin opened their doors to some refugees out of the 3000 who fled the camp, but the WCC is worried because the humanitarian needs of the entire camp’s population of 18,000 people have to be taken care of urgently. After numerous futile attacks in the past, the military assault serves only to exacerbate the humanitarian situation.

“The WCC is worried because the longer the assault continues, the further the humanitarian situation will deteriorate”, said Pillay. “The military assault is yet another futile effort, after numerous attacks, that served only to exacerbate the conflict.”

The Jerusalem Patriarchate issued a statement asking that the military attack stop. “A similar statement by the Latin Patriarchate condemned the violence and demanded a ceasefire”, noted Pillay.

Pillay concluded: “The WCC also calls upon the international humanitarian organisations to help rebuild people’s lives with peace and dignity in Jenin Refugee Camp.”

* Read the statement from the Jerusalem Patriarchate here.

* Source: World Council of Churches