Faith Groups to Rally in London to Protect the Holy Land

In response to the news that Palestinians are now on the brink of starvation, faith groups including Pax Christi, Christian CND, and the Amos Trust will take part in a rally in Trafalgar Square this Saturday at 12 noon to call for just peace in the Holy Land.

|TOP|Many Palestinians have already died as a result of shortages of medicines, caused by the withdrawal of aid following the election of Hamas.

Recently Dov Weisglass, the Israeli prime minister's adviser, joked: "It's like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won't die."

But the church-sponsored Amos Trust issued the following statistics yesterday:

• According to a January 2006 UN report, 64% of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are living below the poverty line.

• In Gaza, 40% of children suffer from malnutrition because of the Israeli occupation. John Ging, director of UN operations there, said: 'This is the first time bread has been rationed. There's no sugar, oil, milk, the basics.'

|AD|• A UN report in September 2005 said that 60 Palestinian women had given birth at Israeli checkpoints since 2000 and 36 of their babies died as a result. Many more have died since.

• Since September 2000, over 3,800 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army and settlers, and over 29,000 injured.

• Israel is building an Apartheid Wall that, when completed, will annex East Jerusalem and almost half of the West Bank, leaving the Palestinians imprisoned in a series of ghettos.

• Over half of the Palestinian population were expelled from their homes in the 1947-49 war, and a second wave of refugees was created in 1967. Today, two-thirds of Palestinians are refugees.

The faith groups appeal for Israel to abide by international law, acknowledge Palestine's right to exist, recognise the democratically elected government of Palestine, end the illegal occupation, remove settlers, and dismantle the Apartheid Wall.