Caricom condemns fighting in the Middle East

Caribbean – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Monday issued a statement saying it “abhors the attacks in Israel and the counterattacks in the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

The statement come three days into the fighting and as the death toll among Israelis and Hamas in the Gaza continue to rise, currently at approximately 1 600.

The CARICOM statement said “the savage nature of the attacks and counterattacks are the antithesis of civilised life and living.

“Innocent lives are being lost amidst the fervour and violence of the actual combatants.

The CARICOM said it “joins the responsible members of the international community in calling for an immediate ceasefire and end of hostilities by all parties,” adding that “the recent round of hostilities reflects the pain and suffering of ancient quarrels.

“The ongoing harsh conditions under which the Palestinians live in veritable colonialism and Israel’s sense of insecurity will contribute to a cycle of violence until those realities are definitively addressed,” the statement said.

“Accordingly, CARICOM continues to support the United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and the ongoing efforts of the United Nations towards a two-state solution as the best way to achieve  comprehensive peace, security and tranquility between Israel and Palestine,” the statement added.

International reports say that in Israel, over 900 people, including 73 soldiers, have already been killed and more than 680 people have been killed in Gaza, and Israel says hundreds of Hamas fighters are among them.

Hamas militants in Gaza say they are holding more than 130 Israeli soldiers and civilians hostage and Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has warned Hamas against harming any of the hostages, saying, “this war crime will not be forgiven”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed a former military commander to manage the hostage and missing persons crisis. (CMC)

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