OSMTH expresses its concerns for the civilian populations over the current war in Gaza and Israel and all those in the Middle East.
Geneva, July 31, 2014. OSMTH wishes to express its solidarity with all the civilian people from both sides who are suffering from the current situation. OSMTH is deeply saddened by the continued escalation of military operations in Gaza, the physical devastation, the high number of Palestinian civilian casualties, including whole families, as well as the increasing number of rockets striking the Israeli territory and people. OSMTH does not think that collective punishment of civilian populations, and especially children, will achieve gain for either party involved in the conflict. As each day passes, more innocent civilians are being killed. We call for an immediate ceasefire by both sides.
There seems to be no definitive military solution to this almost 50-years-long conflict. All parties must accept that lasting peace can only be achieved through peaceful means.
The human needs in Gaza are immense. We hear the cry of doctors and nurses overwhelmed by the flow of casualties. Today’s news reports suggest that more than 1400 Palestinians have been killed. Civilian displacement has also risen sharply. UNRWA is presently providing shelter to over 200 000 people.
The current war is a result of decades of political failure. An end to the violence must be followed by genuine dialogue and renewed negotiations addressing the root causes of this conflict.
A durable peace will only be achieved by seeking together common paths towards reconciliation and peace, and through a genuine commitment to creating the basis for future generations of Israelis and Palestinians to live side-by-side in peace in mutually recognized countries.
With all these sacrifices, the hearts of Israelis and Palestinians risk being filled with new hatreds. The war is once again feeding anger and violent extremism, with consequences in the whole region and even worldwide. Therefore, OSMTH urges both sides to take a step aside and consider the right to forgiveness. Fathers and mothers have been killed in the past. Now, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters from both sides are being killed, persecuted or displaced . Only the right to forgiveness will help our grandsons and granddaughters live in peace with mutual respect of each other.
*With special thanks to the International Peace Bureau
** OSMTH (Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem) is a Non-Governemental Organisation in Special Consultative with the United Nations ECOSOC.
APPROVED JULY 31 2014 BY