The conflict in the Middle East is again visible and the terrible events of the last days have left us all horrified and in awe. Were will this renewed violence bring? While condemning all the violence that is being done, we send our solidarity to the people who are suffering and call for an immediate ceasefire and dialogue, demanding that the international and European institutions take a clear stance about it. Following is an appeal, subscribed by the Italian solidarity economy network, from the Italian peace and disarmament movement:
We condemn the despicable and brutal act of aggression by Hamas against the Israeli civilian population, against the elderly, children, women, in defiance of every elementary sense of humanity and civilisation, to which was added the barbaric practice of hostage-taking. We are faced with the violation of all international treaties and conventions designed to safeguard civilian populations from war and all forms of occupation.
There is no justification whatsoever for the actions of Hamas, not even the desperation and exasperation of the Palestinian people, who for decades have been victims of occupation, restriction of freedoms, demolition of homes, expropriation of land, and the constant provocations of the radical fringes of the Israeli right and the settlers, can find an answer in terrorist and military action.
Our condemnation of all forms of violence, aggression and reprisals against the civilian population, both Palestinian and Israeli, is absolute.
Hamas must immediately release the hostages and cease hostilities for the sake of the Palestinian people.
Israel must not retaliate with its military might against the population of the Gaza Strip or use retaliatory methods such as taking away food, light, water from a population also hostage to the violence unleashed by Hamas, with no means of escape and unable to protect their families, children, and the elderly.
7 October marks a radical military turn of war that will bring new victims and new hatred without resolving the causes that have been overwhelming the people and land of Palestine and Israel for almost a century. What is more, the imponderable risk of conflict that could engulf the Middle East is evident.
Only by rejecting war and violence can we all commit ourselves to building justice, respect for the self-determination rights of the two peoples, reparation, coexistence, and a just and lasting peace.
We appeal to the UN Security Council to assume its responsibility as the guarantor of international law by calling on the parties for an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages and prisoners, and respect for humanitarian law to prevent further bloodshed, with a commitment to convene as a matter of urgency, a peace conference to finally resolve the Palestinian question by applying the formula of ‘two states for two peoples’, a condition that would put an end to the Israeli occupation and Palestinian armed resistance, thus re-establishing the conditions for building peaceful and democratic societies.
We, as components of Italian and international civil society, are ready to do our part to support the path to peace and we call on the Palestinian and Israeli social autonomies to clearly stand for an end to violence, for mutual respect and for the mutual right to live in peace and freely in their own state.
This is why we launch an appeal to the Palestinian and Israeli associations and movements to demonstrate together, in the Holy Land, challenging those who want to destroy with violence, with aggression, with occupation and siege, the right of the other, the possibility of coexistence and a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Middle East.
Let us take peace back into our hands.