Amid the the violence, tragedy and politics of Gaza, there are deep forces of destruction at work, says Gene Stoltzfus. But there may also be sparks of hope which require prayerful discernment out of which a different quality of action can come.
Following a huge barrage the night before, Israel yesterday announced that it is to halt the main part of its three-week military offensive in the Gaza Strip, but without bilateral agreement or withdrawal.
The UN Relief and Works Agency says Israel's shelling of a UN compound in Gaza yesterday should be investigated as a war crime. Israel carried out 50 air strikes as its cabinet prepared to vote on a ceasefire.
A group of 60 Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders in Boston, USA, have issued a joint statement calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, asserting their common humanity and recognising the intense pain of the conflict.
300 members and supporters of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel set out to accompany an emergency delivery of medical supplies to Gaza on Friday. But there buses were turned back by Israeli personnel.
Humanitarian church, aid and refugee groups have called on President Bush, US leaders, the UN, and Israeli and Egyptian ambassadors to uphold the rights of protection for the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza.
The European Commission is to take “time-out” on its talks with Israel on upgrading relations. The head of its delegation to Israel said the decision was taken in light of the current conflict in Gaza.