Now is the time for Christians to take action to end the suffering in Gaza and promote a just, lasting, and sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
The situation in Gaza is desperate. Over 600 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its military operation over two weeks ago. The UN says the majority of these are civilians, and a third of them children. Thousands have been injured and hospitals are overrun, unable to cope with the number of people and lacking essential medications. At least 100,000 have fled their homes. It is also reported that 31 Israelis have been killed, 29 soldiers and 2 civilians.
Even before this crisis Palestinians in Gaza were suffering immeasurably under Israel’s blockade, which has caused widespread shortages in food, fuel and clean water.
As Christians we are called to be peacemakers and to stand against injustice and oppression. We encourage all those concerned about the situation in Gaza to write to their MP (find yours here) asking them to:
- Call on the Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond to press Israel to stop its military action in Gaza, bring about an immediate ceasefire, and a lasting end to the hostilities on both sides.
- Use their influence to address the root causes of this conflict – the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory and Israel’s blockade of Gaza which together have caused untold suffering to Palestinians for many years.
- Have the courage to defend the right of all people in the region to live in safety and security with full recognition of their human rights.
- Support the call for an arms embargo on Israel until it complies with its obligations under international law, ends its military campaign in Gaza, and its occupation of Palestinian territory.
We also call on individuals, faith communities and denominations to:
- Divest from any companies that are profiting from Israel’s military intervention and the illegal Israeli occupation.
- Pray for those suffering and mourning in Gaza and Israel, for an end to the violence, and for the creation of a just peace for Palestinians, which we believe is the only way to bring about peace and security for Israel too. Prayers can be found here to guide you.
Kairos Britain, 23 July 2014. www.kairosbritain.org.uk
Kairos Britain is a network of individuals, organisations and faith communities seeking a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel.
“The people of Israel and Palestine can live in peace together. They are not born hating each other.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 18 July 2014)