Responding to the killing of unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, by the Israeli army, Christian Aid's Head of Middle East Policy, William Bell, said today: "Christian Aid deplores the senseless loss of life in Gaza. The vast majority of those who have been protesting over recent weeks are doing so because they refuse to live any longer in despair and without dignity. Of course, as we have consistently said, this latest outbreak of violence is not really about Gaza. The people who are now dying are paying the price for an apparent international indifference to and disregard by Israel for the basic rights of Palestinians.
"To be clear, Christian Aid condemns all indiscriminate violence against civilians, whoever the perpetrator. We further believe that all allegations of breaches to international law be independently investigated and that that those who carry out attacks targeting civilians are brought to justice.
"Today, anyone bearing witness to the facts on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territory could conclude that a two-state solution has all but failed. Unfortunately, the US decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem only fuels that.
"As Lakhdar Brahimi, former Algerian Foreign Minister and UN diplomat, commented: 'Unilateral action on the part of the Trump Administration only makes the prospect of a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more distant. Peace will only come when all parties are treated with respect, their rights and grievances acknowledged, and negotiations are undertaken in good faith.'
"Each struggle has its own unique history, but many have pivotal moments when ordinary people pay an extraordinary price in their pursuit of peace and justice. Sharpeville in 1960, Bloody Sunday in 1972, Tahrir Square 2011 - these names and dates have become synonymous with attacks on people exercising their right to protest, on their quest for freedom and equality. Will Gaza in 2018 become that moment in history when the world finally woke up and recognised the legitimate rights of Palestinians? Not to displace Israelis or deny them their rights, but to live alongside them as equals with dignity and respect."
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