(Haifa) “Healthcare, education and other basic services for refugees are being increasingly threatened, exacerbating the ongoing violations of their fundamental human dignity. This cannot be ignored or tolerated”. The bishops of the US, Canada, the EU and South Africa – who are members of the Holy Land Coordination (HLC) – used harsh words to condemn the distressing situation of Palestinians in their final statement issued at the end of their annual pilgrimage of solidarity. During their trip, the Bishops visited several places, including the Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin, Palestine. There, the HLC Bishops wrote, “despite the faith and resilience of those we met, the misery of occupation has been deepened by severe cuts to humanitarian funding by the US government”. In their final declaration, released today, the Bishops call on their respective governments “to help meet the funding gaps now faced by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and redouble their efforts towards a diplomatic solution, with two democratic sovereign states of Israel and Palestine existing in peace”. “We admire our sisters and brothers in the Holy Land – the statement ends – for not losing hope and we commit ourselves through prayer, pilgrimage and practical solidarity, to helping keep that hope alive”.