WASHINGTON—The United States shouldprovide leadership to end the cycle of violence and retaliation currentlyunfolding between Gaza and southern Israel, according to a letter to the Obamaadministration from the chairman of the Committee on International Justice andPeace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
"An immediate cease fire must benegotiated as a precondition so that leaders on both sides can give Israelisand Palestinians hope for a different future free of fear and full of promise,"Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, said in his November 20 letter toNational Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon.
Bishop Pates wrote that Israel has aright to defend its citizens following "morally unjustifiable" rocket attacksfrom Gaza that killed at least three Israeli civilians, but its use of forcemust be proportionate and discriminate. "The media report that Israeli airattacks have killed about 100 Palestinians and wounded many more," Bishop Pateswrote. "The Director of Caritas Jerusalem noted that the hospitals in Gaza are'overwhelmed with casualties' and is appealing for supplies. This continuingviolence has serious implications for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflictand for regional stability."
Bishop Pates urged the U.S.government to work to end this latest violence "before it spirals further outof control." He added, "Violence will not bring peace to the region; it willonly reinforce historic hurts and deepen divisions, making peace even moreremote."
The full text of the letter isavailable online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/middle-east/israel-palestine/upload/2012-11-Ltr-to-Donilon-on-Gaza-violence.pdf
Keywords: Bishop Richard E. Pates, Des Moines, Iowa,International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB,Israel, Gaza, rocket attacks, National Security Advisor, Thomas E. Donilon
# # # # #MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Email
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