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Churches Decry Israel ‘s Treatment of Gaza

ICC Note

“To deny children and civilians their necessary basic commodities are not the ways to security but rather throw the region into further and more dangerous deterioration. This siege will not guarantee the end to rocket firing, but will only increase the bitterness and suffering and invite more revenge, while the innocents keep dying,”

By Ethan Cole

Thu, Jan. 24 2008 Palestine (Christian Post)-Churches in the Middle East denounced Israel ’s blockade of Gaza as an “immoral act” that has cut off the entire country from proper food and medicine.

The Rev. Munib A. Younan, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, called the blockade of Gaza “illegal collective punishment, an immoral act in violation of the basic human and natural laws as well as International Law,” in a statement issued Jan. 22 – a day before Hamas militants destroyed the Gaza-Egypt barrier.

Younan and other Holy Land church leaders added that the blockade “cannot be tolerated anymore” and “the siege over Gaza should end now.”

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“To deny children and civilians their necessary basic commodities are not the ways to security but rather throw the region into further and more dangerous deterioration. This siege will not guarantee the end to rocket firing, but will only increase the bitterness and suffering and invite more revenge, while the innocents keep dying,” the statement admonished.

The blockade “imprisoned” 1.5 million people “without proper food or medicine,” the church leaders voiced with concern. The punishment left large parts of the Palestinian territory, which also borders Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea , without access to electricity.

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Yet despite sympathy for trapped Gazans, the Christian leaders also acknowledged that Palestinians firing rockets at Israel give reason for people to see justification in the blockade.

The leaders advised Palestinian officials “to unite in ending their differences for the sake of their people in Gaza .”

“Put the differences aside and deal with this crisis for the good of all human beings, demonstrating that you care for your brothers and sisters who have suffered enough already,” they said.

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