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Middle East

Violence must end

18 November 2012

The ongoing violence involving Gaza and Israel, with its toll on human life and civilian casualties is a source of great concern to the Socialist International.

The Israeli government and Hamas must both recognise their share of responsibility in this new round of violence which is not only causing further suffering, but is gravely endangering the precarious situation in the region and does not serve the interests of either.

In these difficult times, the Socialist International expresses its solidarity with the civilians in Gaza who are bearing the brunt of these hostilities and with the Israeli citizens who are suffering under threat from rocket attacks.

Both Israel and Palestine have a right to a secure state and to live in peace within recognised and mutually accepted borders.

These are the fundamentals for achieving peace. There is no other way forward for Israelis and Palestinians, and the events of recent days make peace ever more difficult and more distant. That is why the Hamas rockets must stop, and that is why the Israeli attacks must stop, including threats of a ground invasion which would only lead to more deaths among Israelis and Palestinians, greater suffering, and further humanitarian consequences.

The international community, including regional neighbours, must bring their influence to bear on the Israeli government and the Hamas leadership to recognise the urgent need for a ceasefire before the situation escalates into a larger conflict.

Indeed, in our view, the lack of a political horizon for peace, of a proper framework for negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians has exacerbated and entrenched the unresolved issues. The past three and a half years in particular have been wasted years in the search for peace. The world community must engage both sides, Israel and Palestine, with renewed vigour to settle this long-standing conflict.

The Socialist International will never cease in this endeavour.

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