U.S. Cardinal Questions Israel's Security Barrier

While Israel has a right to protect its citizens, the security barrier separating Israel from the Palestinian territories raises human rights concerns, said a U.S. cardinal. “The most tragic thing I have seen is the miles-long wall that separates Jerusalem from Bethlehem and separates families and keeps farmers from the land that has been in their families for generations. It is humiliating and distressing,” Cardinal John P. Foley, grand master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, told participants at the 11th international conference of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation on Oct. 24. “I appreciate the Israeli government’s concern for security” and respect it, he said. “But many of these measures raise serious human rights issues that they refuse to acknowledge and address.” The security barrier is a series of barbed-wire fences, security roads and looming cement slabs that if completed as planned, would stretch 400 miles through the West Bank and restrict the movement of 38 percent of its residents.

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