On this Feast of Our Lady, “beauty of Mount Carmel”, in the heart of the Holy Land, please pray for peace between Israel and Palestine.
Pax Christi International (the Roman Catholic Movement for Peace) cries out for an end to this new cycle of violence, believing that its roots are firmly planted in the persistent structural violence of occupation. In a statement Pax Christi International says:
Tragically, a new escalation of violence has engulfed the daily lives of Israelis and Palestinian civilians. Last month’s abduction and murder of three young Israelis in Hebron and the kidnapping and murder of a 16 year old Palestinian have fueled this new cycle of violence.
Once again, Gaza is under relentless, daily attack from the Israeli military system, one of the most sophisticated in the world. Gaza is suffering the death and injury of large numbers of civilian men, women and children and in some cases, whole families. The high number of injuries, the destruction of homes, schools and hospitals means that there is a severe humanitarian crisis in the country, which already has a fragile infrastructure. Armed militants in Gaza are firing rockets as far as they can into Israel but to date there have been no fatalities. All those involved in indiscriminate acts of violence against civilians should be brought to account.
Pax Christi cries out for an end to this new cycle of violence, believing that its roots are firmly planted in the persistent structural violence of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Both Palestinians and Israelis have a fundamental right to live in security and without fear, but true security will not be guaranteed for either until the occupation ends and each recognizes the human dignity of the other.
At the invocation for peace in Israel and Palestine, held in the Vatican on 8 June 2014, Pope Francis said: “Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare. It calls for the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict: yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities; yes to respect for agreements and no to acts of provocation; yes to sincerity and no to duplicity. All of this takes courage, it takes strength and tenacity”. Such courage, strength and tenacity were shown by the families of the dead Israeli and Palestinian teenagers who have called for calm and reconciliation.
Pax Christi International members around the world offer our sincere condolences to all those in mourning and pray that those who have been killed recently will be the last to die violent deaths in this escalation of hatred and vengeance. We stand in solidarity with our Member Organisations in Palestine and with peace and human rights activists in Israel and Palestine. We are convinced that voices for a just peace in the region will not be silent.