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Statement on the rising toll of violence in Israel and Palestine

  • Published

    20 October 2023

Peace Direct has been appalled by the news coming from Israel and Palestine beginning with the horrifying attacks by Hamas and followed by the Government of Israel’s extreme bombing campaign in Gaza.

The death toll, injuries and displacements are rising every day.

Peace Direct doesn’t work in Israel or Palestine and so we were not sure how best we could contribute through a public statement. But we wanted to speak directly to our supporters and express our absolute solidarity with all those impacted by the recent devastation and violence. We are deeply concerned about what is to come, as leaders continue to stoke conflict rather than aim for de-escalation.

As an organisation committed to peace, we absolutely condemn Hamas’ acts, and the loss of life in Israel. These have devastated families and communities and their actions can in no way lead to a sustainable solution in the region.

We also condemn the extreme violence the Israeli Government is currently perpetrating in Gaza, which has been described by UN experts as a potential violation of international law and will not further the security and safety of people in either Israel or Palestine.

As peacebuilders, we always try to focus on the root causes of conflicts so they can be tackled. We believe it is not possible to understand the current crisis without acknowledging the decades of occupation and oppression experienced by Palestinians in Gaza. Without addressing this, we do not believe there can be a genuine resolution.

We are deeply disappointed by the response of Western governments, including the UK where Peace Direct is headquartered. We believe they should be calling for an immediate ceasefire and de-escalation of the conflict, in line with their official commitments to peace and atrocity prevention. We want to see them cease all forms of military aid, spend the balance on emergency humanitarian response and conflict resolution, and focus their diplomatic efforts on building sustainable peace for the long term.

We call on our supporters to resist all dehumanising language and actions. And we remain alongside with those in Israel, Palestine and around the world trying to build peace in their communities. These are the voices to whom we should be listening.


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