In the spirit of unity in diversity and towards building an inclusive humanity, Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire between the two conflicting parties.
GBM also strongly condemns all forms of aggression and appeals to the Israeli and Hamas governments to observe their ceasefire and make efforts beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict.
The bloodshed and violence must be seen beyond religious Muslim-Jew lenses; it is at its core a humanitarian crisis and involves geopolitical contestations. The barbarous acts are an outrage to the conscience of humankind, undermine the respect for human rights for all the people affected and threaten the sanctity of universal human dignity.
Unconscionable deaths were caused both in Gaza from Israeli air strikes and in Israel from the rockets launched from Gaza. There were also violent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, where Palestinian families are under threat of eviction. In Israel, violence by vigilante-style groups and mobs has added another horrendous dimension to the crisis.
The use of force by both governments against each other’s territorial integrity and political independence should be condemned, especially when indiscriminately used against civilians and children.
The fighting unleashed an unprecedented security and humanitarian crisis and may spur extremist activities around the world. Therefore, the international community must make more effective efforts to curb inflammatory rhetoric. In fact, both sides of the divide must strive for an effective peace process.
In this regard, Israel must comply with existing UN resolutions and not pursue further its indiscriminate expansionist policy. Likewise, Hamas must desist from further deploying arms and violence.
We urge all to pray for the wellbeing of all people in the region in the aftermath of the conflict and war.
Badlishah Sham Baharin is chairman of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM)