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Palestinians Seek Indian Support to End Suffering
Vatican: A two-member delegation from Palestine met with various groups in India to seek solidarity to end their people’s suffering under Israeli occupation. “We want India to renew its friendship with Palestinians that seems to drift toward Israel,” said Fr. Jamal Khader, a professor at Bethlehem University. Accompanied by Amjad Alqasis, an international human rights law expert, the Catholic priest has met with civil society, Churches and government to explain the Palestinian issue.
They addressed a July 17-18 consultation in New Delhi organized by the Indian Ecumenical Solidarity Network for Palestine (ISEN), a network of ecumenical organizations in India concerned about and involved in working for a just peace. Last week, they also attended a three-day consultation of Christian theologians at Chennai, that asked people visiting the Holy Land to include in their itinerary a meeting with Palestinian Christians to witness their plight.
Fr. Khader said at a press conference in New Delhi that ‘a renewed Palestinian-Indian friendship would help find a just solution to their problems. He said this against the backdrop of India’s increasing relations with Israel. “I have learned that Israel is a supplier of arms to India,” the priest said, adding that the money earned by selling arms would be used to support Israeli military industry which in turn would increase their occupation of Palestinians.
The delegates also noted that the occupation of Palestine by the Israelis was accompanied by brutal measures designed to humiliate and oppress the former. Expressing concern over the situation of the Palestinians, the ISEN members said that India’s support to the Israeli regime is “unethical and must end immediately.” They planned a nation-wide campaign for boycott-disvestments-sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
Father Khader said two percent of the five million Palestinians are Christians, adding that they have till now visited Europe, United States, South Africa, the Arab countries and Hong Kong to mobilize public support for the cause.
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