Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby visits Cremisan

  • Date: 2017-05-10

The Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace Justin Welby visited Cremisan in Beit-Jala, on Monday the 8th of May 2017, receiving the latest updates on the case and witnessing the drastic damages incurred in the area since constructing the annexation wall.

His Grace Justin Welby started his visit by a legal briefing at the Salesian sisters’ Convent by the Society of St. Yves - Catholic Center for Human Rights, addressing legal aspects of the case and its most recent developments in the legal battle that lasted nine years in the Israeli courts.

Photo credit: The British Consulate in Jerusalem 

Mr. Xavier Abu Eid, Adviser to the Negotiations Affairs Department at the PLO, also briefed the Archbishop on the on illegal settlement expansion activities in the area, which is the main reason behind constructing the annexation wall in it and confiscating the privately owned Palestinian lands and resources of these lands.

The briefing was followed by His Grace’s visit to Beir Onah, where he met a group of Palestinian landowners who lost their lands as a result of constructing the annexation wall, and heard their testimonies on the  damages that the wall caused in their lands; from the uprooting of their olive trees which date back to 2000 years, to the total destruction of their agricultural lands, which impedes their livelihoods as the main source of their income and threatens their very existence in the Holy land. The landowners stressed that the final result of the construction of the annexation wall in the area is their total loss of access to their lands, as Israeli authorities denied them any access possibility, even when they applied for permits during the olive harvest season.

Photo credit: The British Consulate in Jerusalem 

After hearing the testimonies and witnessing the devastating damages incurred as a result of the Israeli policies in the area, Archbishop Justin Welby said “You cannot come and hear the testimonies I heard, you cannot hear from the people who live here, without your heart becoming heavier and heavier, and more and more burdened, with that sense of people whose history has led them to a place where all they have known is disintegrating.”

His Grace Justin Welby concluded his visit by saying prayers for justice and peace at the annexation wall.