Koku Adomdza, Director of the UK-based human rights charity – The 1990 Trust – has appealed for an immediate truce in the fighting in Gaza, as a prelude to a new approach to permanent conflict resolution in the Middle East. Israel has continued its bombing raids in Gaza this morning, killing two people and wounding two more.
A military spokesman in Tel Aviv said that the Israeli air force had “attacked a group of terrorists who were preparing to fire rockets at Israel.” A rocket fired from the Beit Hanoun district north of Gaza City has also hit a house in the southern Israeli town of Sderot. Nobody was hurt.
The diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the fighting that has cost more than 120 lives in the last six days have intensified.
In a statement released from its London headquarters, Koku Adomdza, Director of The 1990 Trust, commented that “We completely understand the pain, desperation and sense of hopelessness by the victims of this war that has unfortunately protracted for half a century. Our hearts go out to all the bereaved families on both sides of the divide. We believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict entails serious and untold human rights consequences for the people and call on both sides to lay down their arms and let reason prevail. We appeal to all factions to allow an immediate truce in the name of peace and fundamental human rights of both Palestinians and Israelis. We make this appeal not only to resolve the current Gaza fighting, but for a new approach capable of attaining a permanent resolution of the Israeli – Palestinina question.
“Importantly, an immediate truce should be followed by an examination of all attempts at peace since the war. The fact that there the conflict has existed for 50 years is an indictment of the efficacy of the approaches that has been adopted thus far – be it leadership or diplomatic. More crucially, the paradigmatic paralysis that has characterised the Middle East conflict has caused the fundamental and God-given right to life of Palestinians and Israelis to be largely unprotected and therefore abused. The 1990 Trust believes that all conflicts, wars and their associated lost of lives are unnecessary and avoidable. We call for a new sophisticated approach at conflict resolution in the Middle East that respects human rights and in particular the right to life of all.
“ The Palestinian – Israeli conflict is a mere ten years younger than the the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights which is 60 in December 2008. This would be a useful timeline to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East. The ordinary people of Palestine and Israel deserve permanent resolution through peaceful means from their leaders”.
At the political level, US President George Bush and Jordan's King Abdullah II will hold talks in Washington to try to find a way to bolster the fragile effort to secure an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
And US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in the Middle East on a mission to try to keep the Israelis and Palestininan dialogue open despite the fighting in Gaza.
Arriving in Cairo on the first leg of her trip she stressed her confidence in success for the peace process launched in November at Annapolis, and blamed Hamas for the recent burst of violence.
“I continue to believe that they can get to a deal by the end of the year if everybody has got the will to do it,” Dr Rice said.
“The Annapolis process is hardly underway. We are three months into trying to resolve a conflict that has been going on for 50 years.”
She refused to criticise Israel for escalation in the conflict and laid the blame on Hamas.
“First and foremost Hamas needs to stop firing rockets into Israeli cities,” she said.
“As to the Israeli operation, I understand Israel's need to defend itself and the rocket attacks need to stop.”
She called on the Israelis, however, to allow the resumption of humanitarian aid into Gaza, saying: “One always has to think, in carrying out military operations, about the day after.”