A Christian delegation consisting of multiple religious figureheads has recently concluded its trip to Palestine. The visit which was sponsored by the General Delegation of the PLO to the United States and the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ took place from November 30th-December 7th and offered a first-hand experience of the conditions underneath which the Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem live.
The delegation, headed by Reverend Graylan Hagler, made multiple stops in the municipalities of the West Bank where they visited Hebron, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the many refugee camps that bordered nearby Israeli settlements, emphasizing the tumultuous situations that the Palestinians lived under in those areas. They also met with multiple community and political figures during their visit, such as Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun, Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al Maliki, and Hebron Mayor Daoud Al Za’tari.
Chief Representative of the PLO delegation Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat stressed the importance of such visits by different sectors of the American society, particularly Christian religious leaders, to encounter pro-Israel propaganda in the U.S. by some within the American Christian community. Ambassador Areikat added that “There are no words to describe Israeli practices & policies against Palestinians and the violation of their basic human rights. Visiting Palestine and seeing the situation first hand has much more impact and provides a detailed description of the suffering of our people at the hands of the Israeli occupation.”
In the past, the General Delegation of the PLO sponsored similar visits while working closely with other organizations to facilitate the visits of different U.S. missions aiming at providing them with the facts about the current situation in Palestine.