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Holy Land: bishops from USA, Canada, EU and South Africa, “from young people, hopes in a better future”

(From Jerusalem) Young people in Gaza “robbed of their life’s opportunities by permanent blocks”, young people in the West Bank exposed to “daily breaches of their dignity that have unacceptably become the norm due to occupation”, “young Palestinian lives ruined by unemployment”, and then lots of young Israelis who “acknowledge they are living in the shadow of a conflict that they have not created and that they do not want”. All of them, Israelis and Palestinians, despite going through different experiences, “share the same aspirations to a peaceful coexistence, with few chances of meeting or understanding each other’s hopes and fears”. This is the picture of Palestinian and Israeli young people given in the final release of the bishops from the USA, Canada, EU and South Africa, of the Holy Land Coordination (Hlc), posted in Jerusalem this morning to mark the end of the year’s traditional solidarity visit (since January 13th). “We have come to the Holy Land to meet its young people, to listen to their voices, and to pray for justice and peace”, the release says, and it points out that, “despite the destructive conflict, which goes on, and the approach of those who have power in their hands, who boost division”, the new generations make “efforts to build this dream” of a peaceful coexistence. “For a whole generation – the bishops state –, the prospect of peace has been further removed by morally and legally unacceptable decisions”, especially “the recent offence on the internationally recognised status of Jerusalem, a holy city for Jews, Christians and Muslims”. “Young people from the Holy Land – the message points out – have been constantly disappointed as much by their own leaders as by the international community. The rage we have witnessed is completely justified, but it is also a sign that they still believe they are fighting for change. All over the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip and in Israel, they keep cherishing hope, through resilience and courage”.

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