JERUSALEM (CNA) -- Peace, mutual equality, and respect must be the foundation of progress in Israeli-Palestinian relations, despite continued setbacks, the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land said this week.

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JERUSALEM – Bishops from North America, Europe and South Africa who joined this year's Holy Land Coordination reiterated their solidarity with all of Israel's Christians and called for their equal inclusion in Israeli society.
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JERUSALEM – Visiting with Christian communities in northern Israel and the northern Palestinian Territories has helped bishops participating in the annual Holy Land Coordination see "the great need" to promote an understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, said Bishop Noel Treanor of Down and Connor, Ireland.
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VATICAN – Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas renewed their commitment to peace in the Holy Land and a two-state solution to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the Vatican said.
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At Bethlehem University education is not about personal fulfillment. It’s the only way to transform a society that has been locked in conflict with Israel for 70 years, where unemployment runs at nearly one-third of the working age population (32.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2018, according to the World Bank) and a quarter of the population lives on less than $5.50 per day.

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JERUSALEM – The U.S. budgetary cuts to humanitarian aid institutions helping Palestinians could lead to long-term disastrous consequences, said Catholic aid workers in the region.
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JERUSALEM – Already in a precarious state, Gaza's health system faces a medical emergency, with more than 1,000 people injured in the recent Gaza border demonstrations that flared up since March 30.
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VATICAN – Warning that violence will never bring peace, Pope Francis urged all sides to do all they can to foster dialogue in the Middle East.
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JERUSALEM – As the new United States embassy was inaugurated in Jerusalem May 14, violence broke out between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers.
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VATICAN – In his Easter appeal for peace throughout the world, Pope Francis made special mention of the ongoing "carnage" in Syria and the recent violence along Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, violence the Pope said had not spared "the defenseless."
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VATICAN – Following reports that U.S. President Donald Trump planned to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Pope Francis expressed his concern that such a move would further destabilize the Middle East.

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JERUSALEM – With tensions still high in the Old City following weeks of violence, Fr. Firas Aridah completed his work at the Latin Patriarchate early so he could leave Jerusalem for his West Bank parish before any possible violence began.
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JERUSALEM – A heat wave in Israel and the Palestinian territories in July and near-record electricity usage – where it was available – are indications that, despite the continuous political tensions here, Christians, Muslims and Jews are facing a common enemy that needs to be confronted in a united manner.

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JERUSALEM – Gazans demonstrate an "inspiring" resilience and resourcefulness and more importantly, a sense of hope, despite the daily hardships they face, said the regional director for Palestine and Israel of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

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WASHINGTON – The Catholic Church will speak out against injustice and avoid any attempt to normalize the “festering wound” of the Israeli-Palestinian situation, a commission from the region’s leading Catholic bishops has said.

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