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14 September 2001

Executive Committee reaffirms WCC policy on the pursuit of a just peace in the Middle East

The Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) has reaffirmed the WCC's policies on the "pursuit of a just peace in the Middle East, and for the status of Jerusalem, and its commitment to active dialogue among Christians, Muslims and Jews". In a resolution approved on Friday, 14 September, the Executive Committee "expressed profound condolences to all the victims of the conflict, and especially to the families of those who have been killed in both Palestine and Israel".

In the context of the WCC's Decade to Overcome Violence: Churches Seeking Reconciliation and Peace (DOV), the resolution calls on member churches and ecumenical partners "to focus attention in 2002 on intensive efforts to end the illegal occupation of Palestine, and to participate actively in coordinated ecumenical efforts in this connection". It also asks the WCC to consider the organization of an International Conference on the Illegal Occupation of Palestine in 2002, and supports plans to develop an international ecumenical accompaniment programme emphasizing long-term presence, solidarity, and monitoring based on current church and ecumenical experiences in the region.

Endorsing the recommendations of an international ecumenical consultation on the Palestinian - Israeli conflict held in Geneva, 6-7 August 2001, the Executive Committee called for "an international boycott of goods produced in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories" as well as for "international prayer vigils to strengthen the 'chain of solidarity' with the Palestinian people".

The WCC Executive Committee met in Geneva, 11-14 September.

The full text of the resolution is available on this website

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The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 342, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly, which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.