In an address made public Monday afternoon, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the permanent observer of the Holy See to the U.N. in Geneva, called upon Israel and Hamas to put an end to hostilities and resume negotiations.
Archbishop Tomasi delivered his appeal during the ninth special session of the Human Rights Council, and called attention to "the grave violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including the recent aggression of the occupied Gaza Strip."
The prelate’s January 9th address called for solidarity with victims of extreme violence, and appealed to the warring parties in the Holy Land to observe a cease-fire and return to negotiations.
His statement was intended to express "solidarity with both the people in Gaza, who are dying and suffering because of the on-going military assault by the Israeli Defense Forces, and the people in Sderot, Ashkelon and other Israeli cities who are living under the constant terror of rocket attacks launched by Palestinian militants from within the Gaza Strip, which have caused casualties and wounded a number of people," the archbishop said.
The Holy See’s permanent observer also underscored the need for the international community to put pressure on Israel and Hamas to end the violence.
"It is evident,” he said, "that the warring parties are not able to exit from this vicious circle of violence without the help of the international community that should therefore fulfill its responsibilities, intervene actively to stop the bloodshed, provide access for emergency humanitarian assistance, and end all forms of confrontation.
"At the same time," he added, "the international community should remain engaged in removing the root causes of the conflict that can only be resolved within the framework of a lasting solution of the greater Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the international resolutions adopted during the years."