Volunteering for Peace CC in Palestine and its members expressed grave concerns over the further escalation of violence on the people of Palestine/Gaza with the continued bombing and recent ground invasion of troops by Israel.
For over two weeks, there has been relentless bombing and shelling of the Gaza strip, claiming the lives of over 425 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and more than 3,200 wounded. There were more than 40 mosques destroyed totally, schools, hospitals and even an organization for children with special needs who were killed in the association by the Israeli occupation, Israel has reported two deaths and a handful of injuries following over a thousand rockets fired from Gaza.
A few days ago there were initial reports that showed a promising ceasefire brokered by Egypt similar to its ceasefire agreement in 2012, but later details revealed that it did not address the core issues of ending the blockade of Gaza and allowing free movement with the opening of border crossings. It was also revealed that none of the Palestinian groups involved in the fighting were consulted on the terms of the ceasefire. Israel was quick to accept Egypt's haphazard plan because it maintained the status quo rather than offering a meaningful peace.
In a recent disturbing news report, over 100 Children and women were killed today while moving from their homes to United Nations schools, the photos were terrible and showed children and women dead in the street; Israel didn't allow medical services to reach them. Here is a video from the incident.
In the previous days, another news report showed four Palestinian children while playing soccer, were killed on a beach by shells coming from Israeli naval vessels along the Gaza coast. Several news reporters who were in a hotel close to the beach rushed and attempted to save the children.
Another incident involved the Israeli bombing of al-Wafa Hospital, the only rehabilitation hospital in Gaza. Doctors were forced to evacuate 17 patients, most of them unable to move themselves.
The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) reported several days ago that the repeated bombing by Israel in Gaza has severely damaged the water and sewage system. Over hundreds of thousands of Gazans are now without electricity, water and the situation will worsen if the bombings continue. There is also a danger of contaminated drinking water and an increase of disease.
These recent incidents have called into question Israel's claim that they are only targeting groups who have been firing rockets and mortar shells into Israel.
These latest abominable crimes bring back the horrific scenes of the massacre in Sabra and Shatila more than 3 decades ago. Nothing has changed. What a "legacy" it has created - death and destruction over everything.
VFP call on URI members, Global Council and Staff to pray for an end of these crimes against humanity and to save the peaceful people who were killed at their homes.
May Peace Prevail in Palestine
May Peace Prevail in Israel
May Peace Prevail in the Middle East and the world
Volunteering for Peace members