The region’s political leaders need to reopen themselves to dialogue, supported by the international community, writes Neil Thorns, Cafod’s director of advocacy
Peter Beaumont’s article (UN urges end to Israeli occupation, 50 years on, 7 June) highlights the pressing need to restore hope in a viable peace process. Today, there are 4.7 million Palestinians living under occupation. The current situation is unsustainable, and is a principal cause of poverty, marginalisation and denial of rights in the occupied Palestine territory. Renewed violence continues to cause civilian deaths, both Israeli and Palestinian. Political leaders on both sides fail to protect the lives and livelihoods of their people.
Hopes have risen and fallen with the fortunes of peace processes, most notably the Oslo peace accords. But the more time that passes, the more “facts on the ground” weaken prospects for peace, justice and equality. Those in positions of responsibility in the region need to reopen themselves to dialogue, reconciliation and peace. The international community and the UK government need to put their efforts into revitalising diplomatic engagement, supporting both sides to find a just peace, where human rights are assured for all peoples in the region.
Director of advocacy, Cafod