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Carter Center Welcomes the Temporary Ceasefire in Gaza, Calls For "A Credible Peace with Israel"


Contact: Deanna Congileo, 404-420-5108

Atlanta, Ga....The Carter Center welcomes the temporary cessation of the war in and around the Gaza Strip, but notes that the situation remains extremely precarious.

The Carter Center remains deeply concerned for the condition of over 5,300 injured, tens of thousands displaced in Gaza by the conflict, and many more unable to feed their families. Basic services are either unavailable or lacking for the majority of the population.

The Carter Center therefore calls urgently for:

1. Completely opening the crossings into Gaza from Israel and Egypt to allow the injured to exit for medical treatment and to facilitate the entry of the human and material resources needed to rebuild the devastated territory.

2. Allocating funds, from the international donor community, for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

In addition, longer term measures are critical to ensure a lasting cessation of hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians. First, The Carter Center urges earnest negotiations between Hamas and Israel on a more permanent ceasefire, monitored by the international community, and a lasting agreement to ensure the normal movement of people and goods in and out of the territory. The Carter Center notes that evidence from the 2008 Israel-Hamas ceasefire suggests that engagement with Hamas can bring dramatic improvements to the security of southern Israel (for more detail, please read Gaza movement and fatalities report). Second, negotiations must resume for the immediate release of Israeli captive Gilad Schalit, held in Gaza, in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

The Carter Center also notes the importance of engaging the Palestinian factions-especially Fatah and Hamas-in a good faith process of reconciliation, which will allow them to overcome their political differences and partner effectively on the enormous reconstruction effort needed for Gaza. It is especially important that funds for reconstruction be awarded solely on the basis of the humanitarian imperative and not to support any particular party.

"Despite the desire of the international community to support citizens of Gaza in rebuilding, without some resolution of the political root causes of this conflict, attempts to rebuild may be short-lived," said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. "A dialogue must be undertaken to unite and reconcile Palestinians and then to pursue a credible peace with Israel."

The Carter Center's representative in Gaza remained in place during the war and has been issuing firsthand media reports about developments. (Read reports, at right.)

Preliminary assessments indicate that more than 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the three-week conflict. The sewage system has been severely damaged, electricity is available less than half the time, and over 400,000 Gazans have no access to running water. Twenty-one Palestinian medical facilities and 50 U.N. installations were damaged by Israeli fire. Education facilities have been destroyed or taken over by the displaced.


Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope." A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

Read more about the Carter Center's work in Israel and the Palestinian territories >

Gaza movement and fatalities report (PDF)>

Read articles by the Carter Center's representative in Gaza:

Our Spirit Will Not Die >>

Trauma and Terror in Gaza >>

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