Socialist International welcomes Gaza withdrawal and calls for continuing efforts to ensure Middle East peace

23 August 2005


As Israel’s disengagement from Gaza and some West Bank settlements comes to an end, the Socialist International expresses its hope that this difficult yet crucial measure taken by Israel can become a solid step towards putting the peace process back on track.

Along with the steadfast position of the Israeli government in carrying out this measure, the International recognises the key role of its members, the Israel Labour Party, in government, and the Yachad Party, in opposition, in making the withdrawal possible, both politically and practically.

Those Israelis and Palestinians most able to move things in a positive direction are now in the forefront, creating new opportunities for peace, progress, democracy and for both peoples to live in freedom side by side, and everyone in Israel, Palestine and the international community must work to maintain the momentum.

We in the Socialist International join Palestinians and Israelis in believing that a decisive step has been taken, one that demonstrates that further and other necessary ones can be made towards peace through a process of negotiation, compromise and concessions from both sides.

Today is an important moment for all who condemn violence and terrorist acts, who continue to work for peaceful resolutions to conflict, who believe that a common future of peace for Israelis and Palestinians is possible.