August 20, 2009 13:31 ET

Concern Expressed for Palestinian Community

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - Aug. 20, 2009) -

On the final day of its meeting in Kelowna, British Columbia, August 9-15, 2009, The United Church of Canada's 40th General Council expressed concern for a West Bank Palestinian community engaged in non-violent protests.

Commissioners approved a motion "to support a KAIROS urgent action and direct the General Secretary, General Council, to communicate our solidarity to the village of Bil'in as they continue non-violent protests of settlement construction, and the barrier wall on their lands and in the face of arrests of community leaders, including Mohammed Khatib, and the escalating violence they face."

The Rev. Vicki Obedkoff, from Toronto Conference, said the motion gave General Council the opportunity to "send a message of solidarity to people who are scared." She said the army is closing in on the village.

Information posted on the KAIROS website says that Israeli military forces have arrested Khatib, a key Palestinian organizer in the West Bank village of Bil'in. Khatib travelled to Canada in June on an 11-city speaking tour to raise awareness of the situation in the village.

The website notes that the people of Bil'in have accused two Canadian-based companies "of being involved in constructing illegal Israeli-only settlements on Bil'in lands."

KAIROS is an ecumenical church-based social justice movement. The United Church of Canada is one of KAIROS' ecumenical partners.
/For further information: Mary-Frances Denis
Program Coordinator, Media and Public Relations
The United Church of Canada
416-231-7680 ext. 2016 (office)
416-400-7273 (cell/voice mail)

Contact Information

  • Mary-Frances Denis, Program Coordinator, Media and Public Relations, The United Church of Canada
    Primary Phone: 416-231-7680 ext. 2016
    Toll-Free: 800-268-3781