URI Global Youth Call for Peace in Gaza

February 4, 2008

A call for reconciliation in Gaza and Israel from a URI Cooperation Circle of which I am a member:

We, members of the Global Youth Cooperation Circle of the United Religions Initiative, wish to express our concern at the current situation in Gaza. Conflict creates hardship and fear for people on both sides and takes its toll on families, young and old and the livelihood of communities and economies.

As a youth network we sympathise with our fellows, the young people who are caught up in the crisis; in Gaza itself and in the Israeli communities living in fear of rocket attacks. We feel that those young people should not have to grow up and develop amidst a cycle of violence and hardship. Young people are the future of any community and it is imperative that they develop in security and integrity in order to make a meaningful and healthy contribution to their society, no matter what country that society is in.

We are also concerned about those who are vulnerable in these times, such as the very old and the sick. They need access to medical resources and clean, safe environments. In times of crisis these people suffer the most because basic facilities are less accessible. They also need to live without the fear created by constant attacks. These are human rights under international law but this situation is denying them to people on both sides.

We implore both sides to pursue the path of peace and reconciliation and reduce hostilities so that aid and supplies can reach the people of Gaza to alleviate their suffering and so the Israeli people can live without fear. It is our hope that both sides can cooperate in order to achieve a lasting peace and quality of life for all people. It is our goal as members of a global interfaith community to achieve this all over the world.

"The United Religions Initiative promotes enduring, daily interfaith co-operation and aims to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. It includes thousands of members in over 65 countries representing more than 100 religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions."

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