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Tuesday, January 13, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 13 JAN 2009 (VIS) - Made public yesterday afternoon was an address by Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi C.S., Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations at Geneva, delivered during the ninth special session of the Human Rights Council, on "the grave violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including the recent aggression of the occupied Gaza Strip".

  The English-language address, pronounced on 9 January and touching on such subjects as solidarity with victims of extreme violence, appeals for a cease-fire and a return to negotiation, intended to express the Holy See's "solidarity with both the people in Gaza, who are dying and suffering because of the on-going military assault by the Israeli Defence Forces, and the people in Sderot, Ashkelon and other Israeli cities who are living under the constant terror of rocket attacks launched by Palestinian militants from within the Gaza Strip, which have caused casualties and wounded a number of people".

  The archbishop mentioned the initiative taken by patriarchs and heads of Churches of Jerusalem who declared Sunday 4 January "as a day of prayer with the intention to put an end to the conflict in Gaza and to restore peace and justice in the Holy Land". He also recalled the Pope's comments during the Angelus on that day and his meeting with members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See on 8 January during which he reiterated "that military options are no solution and that violence, wherever it comes from and whatever form it takes, must be firmly condemned".

  "It is evident", the permanent observer went on, "that the warring parties are not able to exit from this vicious circle of violence without the help of the international community that should therefore fulfil its responsibilities, intervene actively to stop the bloodshed, provide access for emergency humanitarian assistance, and end all forms of confrontation.

  "At the same time", he added, "the international community should remained engaged in removing the root causes of the conflict that can only be resolved within the framework of a lasting solution of the greater Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the international resolutions adopted during the years".
DELSS/GAZA CONFLICT/U.N.:TOMASI                VIS 20090113 (370)

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