WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES DEMANDS ISRAEL RELEASE TERRORISTS
By Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News)
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is holding its annual “World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel” (WWPPI) this week, calling on Israel to release jailed terrorists – despite the severity of their crimes and the abundance of terrorists immediately returning to terror.
NGO Monitor notes that WCC is a collective of “347 churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories,” and in this year’s week-long event it will focus on ending the “illegal occupation.”
This year’s WWPPI, which is organized by the WCC’s Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF), is being held under the title “Let My People Go,” in an offensive appropriation likening “Palestinian political prisoners” – including jailed terrorists – with the Jewish people leaving Egyptian oppression in Biblical times.
According to the materials for WWPPI, all “political prisoners” should be freed. The ambiguous term is defined as referring to “any Palestinian – resident of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, or Israel – arrested in relation to the occupation.”
In short WCC calls for the release of all jailed terrorists, white-washing their crimes. One such terrorist is listed by name in the PIEF dossier: Ayman Sharawna.
As a “political prisoner” being jailed by “the occupation,” Sharawna was arrested in 2002 for his role in multiple terrorist attacks, including a bombing in Be’er Sheva that wounded 18 people. He was released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal.
Sharawna was rearrested in 2012 after returning to active terrorism with Hamas in Gaza, but was ultimately released again in 2013 after an eight-month hunger strike. After his second release, he publicly announced his return to terror.
And yet WCC lists Sharawna by name as the type of “political prisoner” whose release was an “achievement.”
The PIEF materials also falsely claim that Israel’s administrative detention of terror suspects “violates the Fourth Geneva Convention. It also constitutes a form of torture within a systematic policy which is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and amounts to a war crime and crime against humanity.”
NGO Monitor points out that the International Committee of the Red Cross has debunked this interpretation, writing “Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions…contains no provisions regulating internment, i.e. administrative detention for security reasons, apart from the requirement of humane treatment.”
Another claim raising eyebrows in PIEF’s program booklet, which lacks any citation or reference, is that “since 1967 about 750,000 Palestinians have been detained by Israeli forces.”
Such a figure would amount to roughly 16,000 new prisoners each year, a claim PIEF’s own booklet disproves by asserting around 3,500 Palestinian Arabs have been arrested each year since 2000.
PIEF, the organizer of WWPPI, writes it was founded “to catalyze and coordinate new and existing church advocacy for peace, aimed at ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories in accordance with UN resolutions.”