JCall, the European Jewish network for Israel and for peace, condemns strongly the breach of the humanitarian ceasefire by the Hamas which caused the death of three soldiers.
Facing the risk of a flare-up of the conflict, JCall supports the growing calls in the world for an immediate and lasting ceasefire between Hamas and Israel on the basis of the Egyptian proposal.
We cannot forget nor fail to mention the Hamas heavy responsibility in the outbreak of this conflict: rockets and missiles fired indiscriminatedly on the Israeli population from a territory under the absolute control of Hamas, which would have caused many civil casualties, had Tsahal anti-missile system not existed; the numerous underground tunnels, the sole function of which is the launching of terrorist attacks in the Israeli territory; and their refusal, so far, of any peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The State of Israel is entitled to defend its citizens from such threats. But a legitimate defence cannot be carried out at any price, especially for Palestinian civilians. This recent conflict has already taken a heavy toil:on one side, more than 1600 Palestinians killed—among them several hundreds of Hamas combattants, but also hundreds of civilian casualties—and thousands of wounded; on the other side, 63 Israeli soldiers killed, one missing, three civilians killed and more than a hundred wounded. Plus the fact that tens of thousands of Gazans are now homeless.
Israeli and Palestinian peoples have suffered too much. It is necessary to get out of this cycle of violence, and to give them the hope of a better future. It implies a radical change of the living conditions of the Gazan population, by ending the blocus (except for weapons and military equipment) and by ensuring the rapid provision of a substantial international help for the rebuilding of infrastructure and houses (provided a strict supervision, in order that this support remains dedicated to a civilian use and is not misused for military purposes). It implies also the establishment of an international oversight control in order to achieve the destruction of all the tunnels and to ensure the demilitarisation of the Gaza Strip so as to give the Israeli people the safeguards they are entitled to.
However, as JCall has claimed since its creation, the way out of the current crisis will only be a first step toward the political solution which is urgent and necessary. The resuming of serious negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel must be initiated in the near future. The Palestinian Authority, already unequivocally committed to a peaceful coexistence with Israel must take responsibility for the whole of Palestinian territories, including Gaza. Both parties should benefit from the ongoing involvement of the international commnunity to achieve a Two-State peaceful solution which, alone, with the end of occupation and of colonisation, will allow two peoples to live side by side in safety, within secure and recognized borders.