As Palestinians and Israelis Complete Their Third Round of Talks in Amman, Jordan, Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East Again Urges Israel to Freeze Settlement Construction as a Confidence Building Measure

Jan 14, 2012, 17:24 ET from Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East

NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Israel and the Palestinian Authority complete their third round of exploratory  talks in Amman, Jordan, Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East ("Fair Witness") urges the leadership of both  parties to take the bold and courageous steps necessary to return to direct peace talks and negotiate a final status agreement. On the Israeli side this would include freezing settlement construction on the West Bank.

"We have said this before and we will say it again: the status quo should not be allowed to continue," said Rev. Thomas A Prinz, pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Leesburg, Virginia and Fair Witness Executive Committee member. "Therefore we believe Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should  refrain from continued settlement building.  We also believe Palestinian President Abbas should drop his demand for pre-conditions and engage in direct peace talks as the Quartet has proposed.  This is the only way a final status agreement will be reached."

"Both the Palestinian and Israeli leadership must summon historic wisdom and courage and  abandon the 'no win' pattern of intractability which is preventing their people from achieving peace," according to  Msgr. Dennis Mikulanis, pastor of San Rafael Parish, San Diego, California and Fair Witness Executive Committee member.  Msgr. Mikulanis added that "it is a classic 'Catch 22' scenario: Israeli settlement building continues to create facts on the ground while the Palestinian Authority refuses to engage in direct negotiations without a settlement freeze.  The problem with settlements will be resolved when there is a mutually agreed upon border. And that cannot happen until the parties sit down and negotiate in good faith."

"Bringing a message of peace and goodwill to all people, we strongly urge the Israeli and Palestinian leadership not to squander another chance at peace making," says Sr. Ruth Lautt, O.P., Esq., Fair Witness National Director. 


SOURCE Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East