Gaza ceasefire must be lasting Children rely on peace to end violence and bloodshed
World Vision has welcomed a ceasefire to the violence that has pushed Gaza to breaking point, but warns it must be sustainable to ensure safe and healthy futures for children living in the region.
More than 240 people have been killed, including almost 70 children, in the past 11 days of airstrikes across the Gaza-southern-Israel border. Hundreds more have been injured in the horrific violence, and for children in their late teens, this latest conflict tragically marks the fourth war they have endured.
Sustainable and lasting peace is now of utmost importance to ensure children of the region never experience such atrocities again, said Daniel Wordsworth, World Vision Australia CEO.
“All children, be they Palestinian or Israeli, have the right to live in safety, free from violence and fear,” he said. “Regardless of political and religious beliefs, humanity should share one common imperative that children are innocent, and they deserve to be safeguarded.”
With more than 72,000 people displaced and 800,000 without water in Gaza, it is now critical that children get the support they need quickly. Humanitarian organisations should have safe and unfettered access to children to help meet their basic needs for food and shelter.
The violence has torn children’s lives apart and taken a huge toll on their mental and emotional wellbeing. Donors, including Australia, should provide immediate support for children’s psychological needs and make a sustained commitment to the education and wellbeing for children to start healing.
Mr Wordsworth called on the international community to work together towards long-term peace, justice and reconciliation for the sake of Palestinian and Israeli children. We cannot underestimate that it is the status quo that led to this point. It is the inequality, discrimination, incitement and abuse of power that comes from a long-term occupation that cannot be sustained indefinitely.
“Diplomatic process represents the best opportunity to resolve underlying causes including occupation, blockade, human right violations, systematic injustices and intercommunal violence,” he said. “World Vision desires that all children experience life at its fullest. Many children in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel experience hardship, fear, and violence on a daily basis.
"World Vision calls on the international community to work tirelessly and sincerely for lasting peace, justice and reconciliation for the sake of Palestinian and Israeli and all other children affected by this conflict."
For more information please contact Charmaine Waduge on 0433 903 503 or email Charmaine.email@example.com
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