BWI – January 9, 2009

The BWI deplores the killing of civilians and calls for an end to violence, as Israel continues its attacks inside Gaza in response to the launching of rockets by Hamas, ending a six-month cease-fire.

For Anita Normark, BWI general secretary “The fighting in Gaza must end immediately! We cannot tolerate that innocent civilians continue to suffer after so many years from a lack of basic supplies, where water and electricity are rare resources, where hospitals are overstreched and where people are prevented from getting out of the area.” Normark adds: “The solution will not be found in military interventions. Both sides must cease hostilities and return to the negotiating table to bring a permanent end to the conflict.”

The Israeli military operation in Gaza has killed at least 680 people and wounded over 3,000 others since it was launched, Palestinian medical sources said Wednesday. Nearly a third of the deaths are women and children, according to the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), citing statistics released Tuesday by the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Seven Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed since operation began, the Israeli military reported. Prior to the military operation, more than 80 percent of Gazans relied on humanitarian aid.

The BWI remains in contact with its affiliate in Israel and Palestine.