Catholic bishops criticize Israel on Palestinians

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JERUSALEM (AP) — A high-level delegation of Roman Catholic bishops from North America and Europe has criticized Israeli polices in east Jerusalem and called for more contacts between ordinary Israelis and Palestinians.

The group says violence, insecurity, home demolitions, the route of Israel’s West Bank separation barrier and other policies threaten peace prospects.

The group issued a statement at the end of its annual visit on Thursday. It says Israel’s policies also endanger the dwindling Christian presence in the Holy Land.

The bishops called for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel and said a lack of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians undermines the hopes for peace.