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Pax Christi statement on Middle East crisis

 1. Calls on Israel to cease immediately its indiscriminate assault on the people of Lebanon, and in the near future, to open talks with Palestinian representatives on the equitable and just resolution of the long-running conflict with Palestine. The continuing Administrative Detention of hundreds of Palestinian citizens and the collective punishment of the Palestinian people is at the root of the ongoing violence against the people of Israel. 2. Calls on Hizbollah and Hamas, or whoever hold them, to release at once the captured Israeli soldiers, held in violation of international law, and to cease immediately their indiscriminate rocket attacks on the people of Israel. 3. We affirm the message of Pope Benedict XVI, "neither terrorist acts nor reprisals, especially when they entail tragic consequences for the civilian population, can be justified, by such paths, as bitter experience shows, positive results are not achieved." 4. Calls on all people of faith to pray that those everywhere, including those in the government of our country, who take the path of violence, will come to see that violence solves no problems. It only generates more violence and creates deeper divisions between communities. 'Peace is the fruit of anxious daily care to see that everyone lives in the justice that God intends'. (Pope Paul VI Populorum Progression 1967) For more information see: www.paxchristi.org.uk P Gaffney