Vatican slams Israel’s apartheid wall

Pope John Paul II has criticised Israel's construction of a barrier cutting off parts of the occupied West Bank, the first time the pontiff condemns the wall.

    Occupation hazard: Palestinian schoolchildren pass through wall

    On the eve of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to Rome, the Pope said on Sunday the Middle East “does not need walls but bridges”. 

    “The construction of the wall between the Israeli people and the Palestinian people is seen by many as a new obstacle on the road leading to peaceful cohabitation," he said.
      
    Israel is constructing an apartheid wall slicing off some of the most fertile areas of the West Bank, separating Palestinian farmers from their lands and scores of villages. 

    Future borders?

    Israel says the wall is aimed at keeping out potential Palestinian resistance fighters. But Palestinians and some human rights groups fear that the concrete barrier demarcates the borders of a future state.

    The Pope has been a firm defender of Palestinian rights. He became the first pope in history in 1986 to enter a synagogue and ask forgiveness for the sins committed by Christians against the Jews.
      
    There was no indication that Sharon, the principal architect of the barrier, who arrives on Monday for a three-day visit to Italy, would also call on the Pope.
       
    The Pope has consistently championed for both sides to live in peace.

    “Without reconciliation between people, there cannot be peace,” he added in a firm voice.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From Zimbabwe to England: A story of war, home and identity

    The country I saw as home, my parents saw as oppressors

    What happens when you reject the identity your parents fought for and embrace that of those they fought against?

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    One woman shares the story of her life with polycystic kidney disease and sees parallels with the plight of the planet.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.