Methodist Church welcomes ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel

Welcoming the ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon that beganthis morning, Anthea Cox, Methodist Coordinating Secretary forPublic Life and Social Justice said;

'We have to recognise this as being a positive move towards peacefor the people of Israel and Lebanon, but it is only the first stepon what could be a long road. It is vital that both Israel andHezbollah continue to observe the ceasefire and work towards alasting peace. To avoid an early breakdown of negotiations is itessential that an international peacekeeping force is soon able tomove into Israeli-occupied areas of Lebanon, that Israelprogressively scales down its military operation in preparation fora withdrawal and that Lebanese talks about disarming Hezbollah beresumed.

'Too many people have been killed in the conflict on both sides andmany more left homeless and injured. This ceasefire gives theopportunity for authorities to allow humanitarian aid into thoseareas most affected by the conflict. Peace is more than just theabsence of war and we pray that this ceasefire would bring hope toall those affected by this struggle'.