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Christian Aid welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire in Gaza and urges all parties to reach a lasting, comprehensive and just peace.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister announced the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel tonight at a news conference in Cairo. The truce began at 7pm GMT after a week of intense bombing.
Janet Symes, Christian Aid’s Head of Middle East said: ‘The people of Gaza are in urgent need of humanitarian support including medical help. The people worst affected are the poorest – they are struggling to afford food, water and fuel. Lifting the blockade on Gaza is essential and we urge all concerned to ensure this promise is turned into reality.
‘If the ceasefire holds, it could be the first step to meaningful negotiations with all parties which have to take place to bring real change to the people of Gaza.’
She added: ‘Renewed peace negotiations must hold all parties to account, be guided by international law, seek to end occupation, lift the blockade of Gaza, and ensure the security of both Palestinians and Israelis. Without such efforts, it will not be long before we see yet another outbreak of the kind of violence unleashed a few days ago.’
Since the last major attack on Gaza nearly four years ago, there was little action by the international community to prevent a repeat of the hostilities or to hold to account those who are frustrating peace and we are currently witnessing the tragic consequences.
Christian Aid’s launched an appeal earlier this week to provide urgently needed medical supplies and assistance, food and other essential items, and psychosocial support to civilians most in need.
The appeal is also extended to civilians most in need across the wider Middle East region.
If you would like further information or to arrange an interview please contact Johanna Rogers (020 7523 2460). 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950
Notes to Editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around some 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. We believe that the underlying causes of poverty were made by, and can be ended by, human action. Our strategy for building the power of us all to end poverty is embodied in a new report ‘Partnership for Change’: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/2012_strategy.pdf
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 125 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk