Indian Bishops' office appeals to end violence in Gaza

2014-07-16 Vatican Radio

The Indian bishops' Office for Justice, Peace and Development has appealed to warring Palestinians and Israelis to shun violence that kills innocents and take the path of dialogue to end their disputes.

The Church is "gravely concerned over the more than six-day long Israeli offensive against Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip that has killed more than 160 people, most of whom are civilians including children," the office of the Indian Catholic Bishops Conference in a statement. The military offensive has caused a power outage to some 70,000 Gaza civilians. Israel’s talk of a possible ground invasion of Gaza and bombardment of the area, as reported by the media, despite international calls for a cease-fire, is distressing, said the statement signed by Father Charles Irudayam, secretary of the Office.

Thousands of troops have reportedly massed along the border in recent days. Consequently, some 17,000 thousands of Palestinian residents of the northern Gaza Strip fled their homes.

"The counter attack of Hamas escalated the situation in Gaza region. Both the groups fighting against each other and killing the innocents including the children is not acceptable," said the bishops' office.

It bemoaned that the new escalation of "horrific violence has engulfed the daily lives of Israelis and Palestinian civilians. Both Palestinians and Israelis have a fundamental right to live in security and without fear."

"We appeal to both the governments to immediately halt the military aggression in the Gaza strip and to bring about a just peace, which will benefit both Palestine and Israel, peace that will save lives of Israelis and Palestinians and their families from grief," it said.

It also appealed to "Christians and all the people of good will to devoutly and earnestly pray for lasting peace in the Holy Land."


(From archive of Vatican Radio)