We grieve deeply for those who live in Israel and Palestine engulfed in terrible violence, injury, and death. The agonising messages we are receiving from our colleagues in both countries make it clear that the longer the suffering of civilians in Gaza continues, the greater the likelihood of all-out war. This could escalate quickly drawing in other countries and forces, reaching beyond the boundaries of Palestine and Israel. If this happens, the thousands of deaths will be multiplied.
We call for an immediate ceasefire of hostilities to enable emergency humanitarian aid [medicine, food, water, electricity, and fuel] to reach the civilian population of Gaza including the many who are unable to leave Gaza City. This vital step will give temporary solace to the infirmed, injured, disabled and unarmed citizens. It will also allow some space for negotiating the release of the hostages.
This humanitarian act of mercy will set the basis to reach the goal of peaceful coexistence – something which has so far proved elusive.
The best way to commemorate all who have died is to determine that out of this tragedy will come a resolution which offers equal rights to security for Israelis and Palestinians, enabling both to prosper. This we believe is the only way to undermine the power of those who pursue the way of hatred and destruction.