Today we had a dramatic illustration of the effects of the occupation on the Palestinian Territories; we saw the physical separation undermining respect, reconciliation, normal development and the potential for peace.
The Palestinian village of Bil'in has, over the last four and a half years, launched and pursued non-violent resistance against separation from their own lands, caused by the wall the Israelis have constructed.
Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law, are undermining a peace solution between the two sides. It is indeed essential at this point to freeze the construction of settlements. There has been so much violence over so many years, even as we know that nonviolence has succeeded before, in India, in the US, in South Africa.
Israel’s highest court has ruled part of the wall in Bilin illegal, but that decision has not yet led to changes on the ground.
Non-violent demonstrations, combined with the efforts to reach favorable decisions by the Court, has given new hope to many. This message is spreading in the region.