STATEMENT: Pax Christi International condemns the vicious and violent suppression of peaceful protest in Gaza
5/4/18 - The “Great Return March” of Palestinian citizens that started on 30 March 2018 is a peaceful and nonviolent action to draw attention to the forced expulsion and fleeing of Palestinians, known as the Nakba that started 70 years ago.
Palestinians, and Palestinian refugees in particular, have a right to have their voices heard and have a right to peaceful protest.
Sadly, this year on Good Friday, whilst exercising that right to peaceful protest in Gaza, at least 15 Palestinians were killed and hundreds have been injured. Using snipers with live ammunition to disperse protestors and to shoot at unarmed civilians is a violation of international law.
Pax Christi International condemns the Israeli military’s use of excessive force and the shooting of unarmed Palestinian citizens and expresses deep sorrow at the loss of innocent Palestinian lives.
On Easter Sunday, Pope Francis described Israel’s actions as “wounds of ongoing conflict that do not spare the defenceless.”
Pax Christi International supports the call of Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, and other world leaders for an independent and transparent investigation into the bloodshed of that day. Pax Christi International regrets the failure of the UN Security Council to condemn Israel’s violent actions.
H.B. Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem and former President of Pax Christi International stated on 31 March that the Palestinian people “want peace, peace with justice and dignity. Peace is not a danger, nor is justice a danger.” The Patriarch is calling for peace with justice for all the inhabitants of the Holy Land.
The tragic events in Gaza remind us again about the consequences of the absence of peace between Israel and Palestine and the need to increase our efforts in support of a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Brussels, 5 April 2018