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Faced with the outbreak of violence which ravages the Holy Land, the Dominican Order calls the belligerents to an immediate cease-fire.

The "necessities of war" can in no way justify the considerable sufferings inflicted upon civilian populations. The level of civilian losses, both in human lives and in injuries, places squarely before both parties their obligation to protect and assist non-combatants - in particular, women and children.

The Dominican Order, present on site, pleads with the warring parties to conclude a cease-fire as soon as possible and, in the interim, to take all necessary steps to remedy a humanitarian situation which has become critical.

Constituting a vital necessity today are the cessation of hostilities and the reestablishment of means whereby civilian populations may once again have access to urgently needed goods and services.

Short of accepting the perspective of periodic clashes and the resulting civilian losses, all  parties concerned have no other choice but to plan negotiations which take into consideration the causes underlying their conflict, among which are the questions of settlements and military occupation.

The Dominican Order calls upon the involved parties and upon the international community to do everything possible to bring about a cessation of hostilities, and to permit civilian populations to return to acceptable living conditions; all this should be accomplished as soon as possible.

More information about the humanitarian situation can be found at ReliefWeb

(Original statement in French)

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