Nobel laureates, European leaders appeal for lasting truce in Gaza

Paris : As many as 66 Nobel laureates and 203 members of the European Parliament have appealed to all leaders negotiating for a lasting ceasefire in the besieged Gaza Strip to abide by universal human standards, an NGO statement said Monday.

Peace Lines, a humanitarian NGO, under its “Open the Doors Campaign” supported by 66 Nobel laureates and 203 Members of European Parliament, along with 381 former members of the EP, have also urged the European Union to assume the responsibility to act as a guarantor in this process.

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The members noted that 67 lives have been lost in Israel and 2,000 in Palestine, 450 of them children, after a month-long Israeli offensive aimed at eliminating the Islamist Hamas movement. The offensive was temporarily halted a few days ago.

In this regard, the Open the Doors Campaign highlighted four goals that could lead to permanent resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict over Gaza.

“The Gaza blockade must end. Israel must enable Gaza to open to the world, so as to guarantee the possibility of a viable economy, and improve the humanitarian situation,” the statement said.

The NGO also called for Israel to end all killings, including “targeted assassinations” and urged Palestinians to end all rocket attacks against Israel and the Israelis.

“Neither rockets and mortar shells nor bombs and missiles will solve anything,” the statement said.

As a confidence-building measure, the NGO has also asked Israel, which still hold more than 5,000 men and 15 women in its jails, to release a significant numbers of them on humanitarian and legal grounds.

Among the signatories of the “Open the Doors Campaign” are Nobel laureates the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South-Africa, Irish statesman John Hume, Afro-American writer Toni Morrison, chemist Yuan T. Lee, European film director Jean-Luc Godard, Israeli authors David Grossman and Amos Oz, and six former presidents of the European Parliament.