On the eve of New Year 2009, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has said that violence can offer no solution to conflicts such as those in Israel-Palestine, and a just peace is the only basis for security.
World Council of Churches general secretary the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia has condemned "the violence against Gaza" and called on "governments in the region and abroad" to seek the protection of "those who are at risk [...] on both sides of the border".
Israel is collectively punishing innocent civilians by withholding and controlling food and medicine to Gaza, says Christian Aid. Despite repeated calls from the international community, Gaza remains closed to food and medicine.
Fifteen masked Israeli settlers from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma'on attacked three Palestinian shepherds who were grazing their flocks in a valley south of the outpost, and Christian peacemakers who were with them.
President-elect Obama is being deluged with well-meaning advice, says Middle East expert Michael Marten. Maybe we expect too much, but taking a realistic look at how he might handle various conflicts in the region remains important.