Christians mobilise to press for end to violence in Gaza

Christians mobilise to press for end to violence in Gaza

By staff writers
9 Jan 2009

Individuals, groups, churches and councils of churches from Kenya to Sweden, to the United States to Australia, are carrying out hundreds of advocacy actions involving Christians concerned about the Gaza crisis.

In particular they are concerned about the collective punishment of the people of Gaza, and the need for a just and lasting peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

The World Council of Churchs says it has received reports of church-related advocacy in some 20 countries, including statements, public demonstrations and letter campaigns addressed to government officials and parliament members. These are often accompanied by vigils and prayer services and the collection of funds to support humanitarian relief work.

Their goals include an immediate cease-fire that ends violence against civilians on both sides of the border, free access for humanitarian aid, lifting of the blockade on Gaza, and internationally sponsored negotiations under the framework of international law as the basis for peace.

Two weeks after the Israeli army launched the current attack on Gaza, an estimated 770 Palestinians have been killed, several thousands have been wounded and many have been made homeless. Four Israelis have been killed by cross-border rocket attacks and seven members of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) have died in the fighting, four of them killed by friendly fire.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says the IDF is failing to fulfill its obligation under international law to help wounded civilians in Gaza. A United Nations relief agency suspended aid operations in Gaza after some of their facilities were targeted and two of their local staff killed by the IDF.

Church-related facilities are not spared. Three DanChurchAid-supported mobile clinicshave been bombed by the IDF.

Keywords: gaza
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