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IIFWP Delegation Visits Gaza Strip


IIFWP Delegation Visits Gaza Strip

A senior interreligious delegation, representing a wide range of religious groups and nations, visited the Gaza Strip today to have a first-hand view of the disastrous situations of the Palestinian people that are caused by the Israeli occupying forces.

The delegation included Muslim, Christian and Jewish clergymen, former Knesset member and a senator in the United States Senate, all members if the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IIFWB).

During the visit, which was organized by individual Palestinian initiators, the delegates visited the town of Beit Hanun, and witnessed the amount of destruction the Israeli war machine had left behind, and impacted thousands of families in this farming community.

Reverent Michael Jenkins, Co-Chairman of the IIFWB in the United States and head of the delegation, was appalled to the amount of destruction that happened in the Gaza Strip, adding that despite this was his second visit to the Strip in two months, he never got accustomed to the catastrophic losses the Palestinian people suffered.

"We came here with the message of peace, love and reconciliation, Muslims, Christians and Jews, we came here to bear witness to what is being committed against the Palestinian people. In the name of the one God we all believe in, we must face this monstrosity with unity, love and tolerance," Rev. Jenkins told IPC in an exclusive interview.

In addition to visiting the Gaza Strip, the IIFWB delegates also visited the "Moon Cultural Center", named after the chairman of the IIFWB, Father Moon, in which they officially declared the opening of the center, which was equipped with 50 computers, donated by the IIFWB to the Palestinian people.

Later, the delegation visited the third oldest church in Palestine, the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius, which was built in the 5th century, next to a mosque, where they met with the Archbishop, who stressed on the brotherhood of the Palestinian Christians and Muslims and thanked the delegation for their visit.

After that, the delegation visited several areas in Gaza City that was bombed by the Israeli jetfighters and military helicopters, and listened to a briefing about the nature of the places bombed.

Senator Donzella James, from the State of Georgia, said she was shocked to see all this amount of destruction, which didn't distinguish between civilian or governmental institutions, a thing that indicated the arbitrary extermination campaign the Israeli occupation was leading against the Palestinian people.

In the end, the delegation thanked the organizers for the visit, and expressed sorrow for not being able to stay longer, as the Israeli authorities had given them a two-hour permit into the Gaza Strip.

The IIFWP is a council of religious leaders that would work within the structure of the United Nations, serving as a complement to the almost exclusively political and economic emphasis that characterizes peacekeeping efforts among its member nations.


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