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Statement on the Israel-Palestine Situation

The Soka Gakkai Council on Peace Issues released the following statement on October 26, 2023.

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As the confrontation involving Israel and the Gaza Strip and its attendant risks rapidly escalates, we are deeply concerned for the safety of those who have been taken hostage and heartbroken by the loss of civilian lives, including women and children, on an unprecedented scale.

In the intensifying conflict, countless ordinary people have lost the basis of their livelihoods and been plunged into a grave humanitarian crisis.

As Buddhists whose core value is the dignity of life, we sincerely pray for an immediate ceasefire, and hope that efforts will be focused on ensuring people’s safety and restoring peace.

We add our voices to appeals by the international community for the safe release of all hostages, the protection of civilians based on international humanitarian law and a humanitarian ceasefire to enable provision of vitally needed assistance.

If the situation is allowed to worsen, the result will be even greater human suffering and an even graver humanitarian crisis. Intensified cycles of hatred could then bring about further horrors.

Above all, it is unacceptable that children in Israel and Gaza have lost their lives and are living under constant threat. As UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell has commented: “A child is a child. Children everywhere must be protected at all times and must never come under attack.” We must not lose sight of this principle under any circumstances.

We strongly pray for the earliest possible release of the hostages, and urge that the international community work to protect the lives, dignity and livelihoods of those trapped in this humanitarian crisis by realizing a de-escalation of tensions and the cessation of hostilities.

Yoshiki Tanigawa, chair
Shinobu Sugimoto, vice chair
Soka Gakkai Council on Peace Issues

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