Deeply distressed by the current escalation of the Israel/Palestine conflict, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia called on the international community to take bold and novel actions to uphold international law and break the vicious cycle of violence.
“Deeply distressed” by the current escalation of the Israel/Palestine conflict, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia called on the international community “to take bold and novel actions to uphold international law and break the vicious cycle of violence” in the region. Both parties should engage in “equitable negotiations,” he said.
Although recognizing its right “to ensure security for all its citizens,” Kobia nevertheless called on the Israeli government “to refrain from using excessive military force and immediately open equitable negotiations to find a permanent solution through ending the illegal occupation and securing a just peace”. On the other hand, the Palestinian leadership “should also continue to seek a platform for equitable negotiations and hold to the one-party ceasefire and a diplomatic solution”, Kobia affirmed.
The WCC general secretary made these statements in a 30 June letter asking for the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier and the detained Hamas political leaders, as well as a stop to Operation Summer Rain. The letter was sent to representatives of the so-called Quartet (which groups the US, the EU, the UN and Russia), the president of the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli prime minister.
“The unwarranted upsurge in violence if allowed to continue will only add to the untold sufferings of the Palestine people, the primary victims of this ongoing conflict,” said Kobia. Retaliatory measures “are not going to resolve the problem”, while they will likely result in “further embitterment and hate”.