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A Statement by the General Lay Council
For The Coptic Orthodox

The General lay council for the Coptic Orthodox has convened in an extraordinary session presided by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III due to the deteriorating situation arising from the bloody events taken place in the holy lands.

The Council followed with great sorrow the inhuman acts faced by Palestinians, and the Palestinian authority in terms of humiliating president Arafat who is the Palestinians' elected president and the symbol of their struggle to liberate their land.

The situation has worsened to the extent that he was confined within the limits of two rooms with water, electricity and food cut off and his life jeopardized. 

The Israeli's obstinacy has reached the verge of ignoring and defying the security council resolution no. 1402, which calls upon Israel to withdraw from the territories subject to the Palestinian authority. Not only that but also refusing the peace initiative emerged from the Arab summit conference held in Beirut last month.

Moreover, the Israel's counter action has mounted to extent of invading the Palestinians cities and villages and attempting to eradicate the Palestinian's existence on their own land in addition to the cruel acts of violence, which undermines the endeavors of the Palestinian president to control the enflamed feelings of his oppressed people and his candid attempts to reach for the negotiations table.

They have tightened their siege around the Palestinian president by declaring that "Ramalla" is a closed military city. 

They disconnected both the city and Yasser Arafat from the rest of the world by deporting all media people from the city, preventing the Christian religious principalities to get any access to the area, cutting off any humanitarian aid and executing civilians, some of whom were executed before their folks.

This has led to the feelings of despair and frustration to reach a peaceful solution, which aggravated the Arab peoples and augmented exasperation everywhere.

Hence, the general lay Council calls upon the major countries and international conscience to promptly exert effective and practical efforts to put an end to the massacres and all acts of violence, sabotage as well as the inhuman actions that are taking place in the holy lands.

Also, the council calls upon the churches of the world to make any contacts within their power to waken the international conscience for the protection of the unarmed oppressed ones, retrieval of peace to the area and lifting the continuing sieges to put an end to violence. 

We all pray for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian State for this is the sole solution towards permanent & just peace in the area.


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