Today most of the Gaza Strip’s 1.8 million Palestinian people depend on humanitarian aid, the recent escalation of the conflict is an addition to the toll of human suffering. This brutal conflitct has caused immense suffering for decades. Thousands have been killed, hundreds of thousands displaced as homes and critical infrastructure has been destroyed. Millions of Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel and surrounding countries continue to live with the daily fear of bloodshed and violence.

The scramble for safety of thousands of Gaza’s families grows more difficult each day as a new wave of violence is destroying homes, businesses, even schools where children and their parents have sought shelter.

The Palestinian territories occupation is the mother of all problems in the Middle East.

We are sure that the World can not shirk from the responsibility to support lasting Peace between Israel and Palestine.

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Affirming that a Military occupation is incompatible with human dignity and represents a systematically violation of the universal principles of Human Rights.

– Affirming that the use of force will never bring about a long-term solution.

– Affirming that terrorism can never be justified because violence begets violence and because no acts of terror against the civilian population of any country can be carried out in the name of any cause.

With an open-ended ceasefire there is now real hope that Israeli and Palestinian sides will work together on a lasting solution that will break the cycle of violence and chart a course to a peaceful future.

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We ask for an urgent UN Plan to rebuild the basic structure to restablish a normal life and to provide aid to families in urgent need for basic food and humanitarian supplies in the Gaza Strip. More than 240,000 people have already  been displaced inside Gaza, seeking shelter at schools, churches, mosques and other facilities.

We ask that Israel and Palestine work together to sign an agreement about “unlock Gaza”. The Israeli and Palestinian leaders must seize the offered opportunity by the new cease-fire in Gaza to put an end, once and for all, to violence to the detriment of the population. A lasting peace, which would allow all civilians affected by the war to return to a normal life, can only be achieved if Israel will cease permanently to impose economic restrictions on the Gaza Strip that for too long have been affecting the population.

We ask to Israeli and Palestinian authorities to restart the dialogue on the basis of the roadmap proposed by the Quartet – U.S., Russia, European Union and UN – which requires Israel to withdraw to its pre-war green line borders of 1967 with the expectation that a sovereign and independent Palestinian state would emerge.

We ask for a new and inclusive International Plan for the economical development of the Palestinian territory, aims to develop the economy of the West Bank and Gaza over the next years, as a prerequisite for a political settlement to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Urge Israel to end the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories. We continue to work so that the Wall that divides Israel from Palestine would be destroyed, symbol of the violation of human dignity and freedom.

Urge Hamas to cooperate with the Palestine Authority and to cease violence against Israel.

We believe that a crucial step in this direction can be the basis for a full recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people, the building of a peaceful coexistence between Israel and Palestine and the establishment of a stable and lasting peace.

 

MAIREAD MAGUIRE

MUHAMMAD YUNUS

BETTY WILLIAMS

PUGWASH CONFERENCES ON SCIENCE & WORLD AFFAIRS

INTERNATIONAL PEACE BUREAU