14 November 2008

Methodist Church calls for UN emergency food aid access into Gaza

The Methodist Church in Britain has urged for Gaza border crossings to be kept open so that emergency food aid can reach people in need.

The current crisis developed after Israeli troops entered Gaza to destroy a tunnel, killing a Hamas gunman. Since then, five more Palestinians have been killed by an Israeli airstrike and Palestinian militia have fired rockets into Israel.

Steve Hucklesby, Methodist Church Policy Adviser, said: "In recent years Gaza's isolation has devastated the economy. The lifeline of food and fuel has become crucial and half of the population of Gaza currently depends on UN food supplies.

"Palestinians have a right under international law to receive essential humanitarian aid. We appeal to the UK and EU to exert pressure on Israel to ensure that the border crossings are kept open. We must hope for progress on dialogue in the coming months. The additional tension created by military incursions into Gaza makes this more difficult."

This year Methodist Conference adopted a motion calling on Methodists to write to their MPs and MEPs to demand urgent action to alleviate the humanitarian crisis facing the people of Gaza and to pray for peace and justice for all God's people in the Holy Land.

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