We follow with sadness the escalation of violence between Palestine and Israel. Our hearts go out to all families and individuals who have suffered losses. We condemn Hamas’ attacks on Israel and its civilians, just as we condemn Israel’s attacks on Palestinian civilians. Violence against civilians is never acceptable.
We also want to highlight the decades-long roots of the conflict, in which Israel has occupied and controlled Palestinian areas and violated international agreements and Palestinians human rights. The conflict between Israel and Palestine is not a conflict between two equal parties.
We therefore call:
- upon the Israeli authorities to reach an immediate ceasefire and urgently allow humanitarian support for Gaza, including restoring water, fuel and electricity.
- upon Hamas to stop the indiscriminate attacks towards unarmed civilians.
- upon the international community to take the necessary responsibility and put strong pressure on the Israeli government to reach an immediate ceasefire and urgently allow humanitarian support for Gaza.
- upon all parties to start a genuine peace process.
- for civil society organisations and governments all over the world to speak out strongly against all forms of racism and antisemitism.
As peace organizations, we stand for non-violence and peaceful resolution of conflicts. Peace does not come overnight, but it requires continuous and active work and people dedicated to peace work. However, the first step must be to end the destruction and violence, end the occupation and ensure fair treatment for the Palestinians.
Read the full statement on the website of our umbrella organization Service Civil International (SCI).
This week we also celebrate International Disarmament Week. As the UN Secretary General has stated, “…disarmament and arms control have played a critical role in preventing and ending crises and armed conflict. Heightened tensions and dangers are better resolved through serious political dialogue and negotiation—not by more arms.”
The Peace Union of Finland has put together some tips on how you can help (in Finnish) through peaceful means and support the Palestinians in Gaza.