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Wednesday, 30 June 2010 00:00

Palestinian Community Leaders Arrive in Australia

Mr Rifat Kassis and Mr Constantine Dabbagh will discuss critical actions for achieving justicebased solutions to the conflict. They will also examine the devastating impact of the Gaza blockade, the ongoing occupation and the necessity of international law and humanitarian
imperatives. The visit, which will take in Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide, is being organised by Act for Peace, the international aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia, and the Major Issues and Theology Foundation. Mr Kassis is a prominent Palestinian human rights activist who has held senior positions at the World Council of Churches and co-authored the Kairos Palestine document. It is a joint statement from Palestinian Christians, modeled on the 1985 South African Kairos document developed in
response to Apartheid. Kairos Palestine is a call to action, to end the Israeli occupation, to end all forms of discrimination and to end Palestinian suffering. It calls for divestment and an economic and commercial boycott of everything produced by the occupation.
Mr Kassis said, “The Kairos (document) is the last call and the last chance for our people since we live in a moment of urgency…Working on ending the occupation we defuse one of the conflicts which fuel other conflicts and would help in securing global peace.” Mr Constantine Dabbagh is the Executive Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees, the project partner of Act for Peace in Palestine. He oversees the provision of health care, education and community services to over 80,000
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Mr Dabbagh will speak with Australian audiences about the imperative for lifting the blockade, drawing from his first hand experiences of serving the chronically impoverished people of Gaza. Both experts have consistently advocated non-violence and dialogue amidst living conditions that have become a humanitarian crisis.

Mr Rifat Kassis and/or Mr Constantine Dabbagh are available for media interviews between July 2-19.
To arrange an interview:
Campaigns & Communication Coordinator, Edwyn Shiell 0458 303 51