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Saturday, December 10, 2016
Christian Aid condemns suicide bombing
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 Christian Aid has condemned Tuesday's suicide bombing in Israel and urged the British government to press for negotiations to hammer out a peace deal. In a statement following the attack on a suburban snooker hall near Tel Aviv in which 15 people died, CA director Dr Daleep Mukarji said terrorism was morally reprehensible, adding that the targeting of innocent people would never contribute to a just and secure peace in the region. Whilst recognising that the current atmosphere of fear and insecurity among Israelis made it difficult to view peace negotiations and political solutions as the way ahead, Dr Mukarji said he believed that the only way to make progress on resolving the decades-long conflict was at the negotiating table. And he added that it was up to the British and American Governments, the EU, the UN and other responsible parties around the world, to "demonstrate that dialogue must yield a peace dividend for all the peoples of the region that violence never will. "We must not allow the extremists to dictate the path of this conflict. There must be a political mechanism, with a clear timetable, stated realisable goals and enforcement mechanisms that will bring about a just and lasting peace." Christian Aid was joined in its condemnation of the latest attack by the Middle East Council of Churches in Gaza. Costa Dabbagh, executive secretary of the Council spoke of his despair at the loss of life: "It is tragic to see such innocent blood flow on any occasion." In Bethlehem today there are signs that negotiators trying to end the six-week siege at the Church of the Nativity may be making some progress towards reaching agreement. A BBC spokesperson has reported a lot of military activity around the church, apparently in preparation for some of those inside to come out. Sources in Israel say that any deal is likely to involve the release of civilians and possibly an understanding that 26 of the wanted Palestinian militants would be taken to Gaza when the siege ends. Source: Christian Aid
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