Israel ceasefire necessary - Helen Clark

Published: Tue 20 Jan 2009 09:40 AM
Israel ceasefire necessary
Rt Hon Helen Clark, Labour Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, said today that Israel's ceasefire in Gaza is a necessary step towards stopping the conflict which has taken the lives of more than 1200 people and destroyed a significant amount of the territory's infrastructure.
"The tragedy is that this ceasefire declared unilaterally by Israel comes after 22 days of intense conflict which should never have happened and which has immeasurably set back the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
"That process will fail to gain traction now if Israeli troops continue to occupy Gaza and if the blockade of the territory continues.
"The world looks to Hamas to stop its rocket attacks too, while acknowledging that their impact has been but a tiny fraction of that of the Israeli strikes on Gaza.
"It is to be hoped that the major summit of leaders being convened in Egypt over the next 24 hours will succeed in taking the ceasefire process on both sides forward and in ensuring relief for Gaza's devastated families and communities", Helen Clark said.

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