CWS is deeply concerned at the latest outbreak of violence in Gaza and calls on the international community to demand an immediate ceasefire.
“Violence is not the solution,” said Gillian Southey, Campaigns Coordinator. “Gaza was already in a desperate situation before the latest bombing. Food, medicine, fuel and electricity were already in short supply. The humanitarian consequences for innocent civilians will be even graver than they already are if the government of Israel and Hamas do not do their utmost to protect innocent civilians, an obligation under the international rules of combat.”
“The need for a just solution that addresses the root causes of the conflict has become increasingly urgent, ” she added urging both prayer and action for the many people living under dire stress.
CWS supports the warnings of ACT International, the global faith-based humanitarian alliance of churches and related agencies of which it is a member. There will be a dramatic escalation of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, if Israel, Hamas and other militant groups do not cease the current hostilities and avert a new military conflict.
“Continued hostilities will only further threaten human life and aggravate future prospects of peace,” said Mr. Nduna, ACT International Director. “Israeli airstrikes must end along with further threats of increased military action. Palestinian militant groups must cease all current and future attacks on Israel.”
“While there are reports that Israel has opened up some access for humanitarian convoys into Gaza – continued, increased and unfettered humanitarian access is absolutely essential to save lives threatened by the direct and indirect effects of the escalating conflict,” added Mr. Nduna.
“Political leaders in Israel and Gaza must rise up to their political and social responsibilities to protect innocent civilians and avert a much more serious humanitarian catastrophe,” said Christer Åkesson, Co-Moderator of ACT International.
CWS has a long history of supporting humanitarian assistance, livelihood and health programmes, and peace-building activities in the area. CWS partner, DSPR, is worried about the pressure on its woefully underresourced health clinics but will do its utmost to supply healthcare to those injured in attacks.
29 December 2008