Conference restates its deep concern over the desperate levels of poverty being experienced within Palestinian society, particularly regarding the Gaza Strip and the blockade that Israel has imposed. A recent report co-sponsored by 8 development and human rights agencies, including Christian Aid, Save the Children and Amnesty International, described the situation in Gaza as a “humanitarian implosion”. It states that “80% of families in Gaza currently rely on humanitarian aid compared to 63% in 2006”. It furthermore reports that the blockade “is destroying public service infrastructure in Gaza” and is resulting in hospitals experiencing power cuts lasting 8- 12 hours a day.
Consistent with resolutions that Conference has adopted in recent years such as Notice of Motion 100 in 2006 and Notice of Motion 4 in 2007, expressing concern at the plight
of Palestinians living under occupation and recognising that both Israelis and Palestinians should be able to live in peace and security, the Conference
a) Expresses both its encouragement that the Israeli Government and Hamas, under the mediation of Egypt, were recently able to agreed a ceasefire and its hope that it will continue.
b) Calls for a process of peacemaking that eschews violent conflict and warmly commends the “Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel” run by the World Council of Churches.
c) Joins with Christian Aid, Save the Children, Amnesty and the other sponsors of the above report in calling on Israel to end its blockade of Gaza and to ask the UK and EU “to exert greater pressure on the Government of Israel to open its crossings in Gaza”.
d) Calls on Methodists to write to their MPs and MEPs to demand urgent action to alleviate the humanitarian crisis facing the people of Gaza and to pray for peace and justice for all God’s people in the Holy Land.
e) Urges the President and Vice-President to bring this urgent concern to the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary.