World Council of Churches Backs Arab Demands That Israel Withdraw from Occupied Areas

A policy-making body of the World Council of Churches gave its support yesterday to Arab demands that Israel withdraw from the territories it occupied in the June, 1967 war. But it also went on record in support of the political independence and territorial integrity of all nations in the Middle East, including Israel. The Council represents 241 Protestant and Orthodox Catholic denominations.

Its 120-member central committee, meeting in Canterbury, adopted a resolution supporting the Security Council’s Nov. 22, 1967 resolution which calls for an Israeli withdrawal as part of the peace process. The committee stated, “In supporting the establishment of the State of Israel without protecting the rights of Palestinians, injustice has been done to Palestinian Arabs by the great powers which should be redressed.” It noted “with deep concern the constant deterioration of the Middle East situation and the increasing threat of an explosion which could affect the peace of the world.” It declared, “No lasting peace is possible without respecting the legitimate rights of the Palestinian and Jewish people living in the area and without effective international guarantees for the political independence and territorial integrity of all nations in the area, including Israel.”

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