Washington, DC – The Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) is proud to announce that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Society of St. Yves, Catholic Center for Human Rights. The organizations will join together advocate for human rights issues in the Holy Land.  

The Society of St. Yves was founded by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 1991 and is the only local Christian human rights organization in the Holy Land. The Society’s aim is to “support the needy and oppressed in the Holy Land with free legal aid in human rights issues.” During HCEF’s 17th International Conference and Awards Banquet, the Society was honored with the 2015 Living Stones Solidarity Award for its decades of work successfully protecting the dignity of Palestinians through legal actions.  Additionally, the Society’s CEO, Fr. Emil Salayta is a Co-Founder of HCEF.

Sir Rateb Rabie, KCHS, President/CEO of HCEF, commented on the partnership: “I am proud that HCEF will be officially joining with the Society of St. Yves to advocate for our brothers and sisters. The Society continuously challenges human rights violations imposed on the Palestinian people by the Israeli government, and they have followed through on these challenges by leading scores of successful legal efforts. I know that together our organizations will accomplish even more. This is also a great opportunity for other human rights organizations to join our cause – I invite all to join the Society and HCEF in restoring dignity to Palestinians.”

Prior to this agreement, HCEF and the Society had already worked on a number of issues together through their shared vision of alleviating the suffering of Palestinians. This includes advocating for the Palestinians living in the Cremisan Valley near Bethlehem who are facing land confiscations due to the expansion of Israel’s separation wall. They have also fought against Israeli attempts to create division between Muslim and Christian Palestinians by legally distinguishing them as different populations. Additionally, there have been many efforts against Israeli laws that force families to either live apart or lose their rights to live in Jerusalem if they choose to join their loved ones in the West Bank.

Through this partnership, HCEF will represent the Society in the United States, enabling even greater reach for both organizations to advocate for Palestinian Christians in need. This will include initiating an internship for lawyers and law students to work with the Society of St. Yves in Jerusalem.

To learn more about HCEF, its work for human rights in Palestine along with its many other life-giving initiatives, please visit us online at hcef.org or contact us at hcef@hcef.org.