• Sunday, December 21, 2014

Freedom in the air

Yunus calls for Gaza ceasefire

Staff Correspondent

Dr Muhammad Yunus and several other Nobel Peace laureates in a statement have called upon the international community to help secure an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

"As Nobel peace laureates, we join others worldwide who are calling on the international community to secure an immediate ceasefire to prevent any further deaths among Israelis and Palestinians,” read the statement dated July 18.

 

“As the situation continues to deteriorate and the disproportionate number of deaths in Gaza mounts, we are called by conscience to speak out in every way possible not only to end the current violence, but to address the roots of violence," added the statement.

The laureates opined the international community must create the context in which real peace is possible, by condemning violations of basic human rights, holding accountable those who are responsible for breaches of international law, and by refusing military and economic aid that supports Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory.

“Only then will Palestinians and Israelis be able to live in peace and freedom," they added.

Apart from Yunus, Betty Williams, Jody Williams, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Tawakkol Karman, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) General Secretary Shan Cretin, International Peace Bureau Co-Presidents Ingeborg Breines and Reiner Braun are among others who signed the statement.

"There have been attacks on Gaza before. There have been ceasefires declared before. And yet the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory grinds on,” they said in the statement.

They also said some 17 lakh Palestinians are now living under Israeli siege in Gaza.

Currently, the Palestinians are restricted in moving from one place to another and are arbitrarily denied access to water and electricity, they said, adding that the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis would only be resolved with the end of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territory.

The Nobel Peace laureates said peace requires the presence of justice, of equality, of recognizing our common humanity and those who would be brokers for peace must first acknowledge and address the coercive and corrosive power that Israel wields over Palestinians.

“Only free men can negotiate: a prisoner cannot enter into contracts," the statement also quoted Nelson Mandela saying this in 1985.

Published: 12:01 am Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Last modified: 10:10 pm Wednesday, July 23, 2014

TAGS: Gaza yunus Gazaz Ceasefire

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