printer friendly versionPrint
Violence in Gaza

image
Palestinian firefighters extinguish a smoldering fire after an Israeli airstrike on the building of Hamas’ Ministry of Interior in Gaza City 16 Nov. Catholic officials said Israeli and Palestinian leaders must make tough decisions to end the recent violence. (Photo: CNS/Mohammed Salem, Reuters) 

19 Nov 2012 – By Judith Sudilovsky

JERUSALEM (CNS) — The Israeli government and leaders of Hamas must make courageous decisions to end the violence that has once again forced residents of Southern Israel into their bomb shelters and residents of the Gaza Strip into their homes, said Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem.

“We are sad for this escalation. It does not lead to peace but only leads to more violence,” Bishop Shomali told Catholic News Service Nov. 16. “This is a vicious circle of violence and (retaliation) is really not the solution. Courageous decisions need to be taken from the part of Israel and also on the part of Hamas not to remain in the circle of retaliation.”

He said simultaneous international intervention from Egypt and the United States is needed for the violence to stop.

“Left alone, Israel and Hamas will remain in a circle of retaliation,” he said.

“The most important thing is to find a comprehensive solution to the whole Palestinian-Israeli conflict; if not, we will remain with the same retaliations and the same problems,” he said.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 120 rockets were fired into southern Israeli communities from Nov. 10 to Nov. 14, when Israel launched air strikes that targeted and killed Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari. More than 90 Palestinians and at least three Israelis had died in the violence as of Nov. 19.

In a Nov. 15 statement, Jerusalem’s Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal expressed his deep concern at the escalation, reiterating that violence will not solve the crisis. Only a global solution can find a resolution to the conflict, said a statement from his office.

“In this particular tense context, the patriarch is in solidarity with all victims who are at the center of his thoughts and prayers,” the statement said. “He also prays that all those in position of responsibility in this situation do not give in to hate.”

Throughout the crisis Zion Evrony, Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See, was making phone calls to Vatican officials and journalists to explain his country’s position.

“The Palestinian people are not our enemy; Hamas and the other terrorist organizations are,” he told Catholic News Service Nov. 19. “We deeply regret the loss of life of non-involved civilians.”

The ambassador said the Israeli government made “tens of thousands of phone calls” and dropped leaflets in Gaza advising people to stay away from Hamas organization buildings and rocket launch sites before it began its retaliation bombing.

Israel cannot “sit idly by and not respond” when Hamas now has rockets and missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, putting an estimated 3 million people at risk.





1 | 2 |


Tags: CNEWA Gaza Strip/West Bank Palestine Israel Pontifical Mission for Palestine