U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has criticized both Israel and Hamas and urged them to stop the fighting after a shell destroyed a U.N. school on Thursday in Gaza, killing 16 people and injuring over 200.
"This is wrong," Ban said, according to CNN.
"I am telling to the parties – both Israelis and Hamas, Palestinians, that it is morally wrong to kill your own people. Whole world has been watching, is watching with great concern. You must stop fighting. And enter into dialogue." more >>
Members of a militant Islamic group is demanding shopkeepers to cover their store mannequins with full-face veils to abide by the strict Islamic teaching regarding the human form.
Local residents of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, have told international media outlets that members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), now called the Islamic State, have demanded local shopkeepers to cover both male and female mannequins with veils. This mandate coincides with a strict interpretation of Shariah law that forbids artwork and statues depicting the human form.
Militant group Hamas has rejected the latest cease-fire proposal with Israel pushed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and insisted that the only way for truce to be achieved is if the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza is lifted.
"When it comes to the balance of power in this crisis between us and Israel, they are the executioners, the aggressors, the occupiers, the settlers, and we are the true owners of the land," Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said on Wednesday, Fox News reported. "We will not accept anything but the end of the siege."
Over two weeks of intense fighting, including the launching of a ground invasion by Israel, has left over 650 Palestinians dead, with thousands more injured. Israel has said that is targeting terror tunnels and sites in Gaza, and is retaliating against continuous rockets being launched from Hamas into its territory. more >>
People around the world are uniting with persecuted Christians in Iraq through the Twitter hashtag "WeAreN," meant to reference the "N" painted on the doors of Christians in Iraq that make them a target for militant Islamists.
Supporters have either changed their Twitter photo to an image of the Arabic letter ن or "N", which stands for "Nazarene" or "Christian" in Arabic. Members of the jihadist militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have invaded towns, including Mosul, demanding Christians either convert to Islam, pay a tax, or be killed. To identify the Christians in the town, members of the ISIS have painted the "N" on their front doors.
The Church of England changed its profile to the Arabic letter for "N," writing: "We are changing our picture to stand with those showing solidarity for those Christians being persecuted in Mosul #WeAreN." more >>
The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States released a statement Tuesday demanding that President Barack Obama push Israel and Hamas towards negotiating a ceasefire immediately.
"The situation is escalating beyond control. The bloodshed and wielding of power in the contested land is unconscionable," reads the statement from the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of the General Assembly."Just as the United States has moved swiftly to provide $47 million in humanitarian assistance to Gaza, America also must lead the way in insisting on a ceasefire and enabling negotiations."
The statement also said that the PCUSA leaders "urge President Obama to use all the diplomatic weight afforded the highest office of this nation to end this conflict, and support all steps toward lasting peace in the Middle East." more >>
The Patriarch Emeritus of the Latin Catholic Church in Jerusalem has said that the violent conflict between Israel and militant group Hamas in Gaza is a "useless massacre" that will not bring peace, and insisted that Israel must recognize the sovereignty of the Palestinian territory if the cycle of violence is ever to end.
"What is happening in Gaza is not a war, but rather a massacre," Michel Sabbah, Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem of the Latins, told Fides News Agency on Tuesday. "A useless massacre, which will not advance even one step Israel towards peace and security. On the contrary, with all these human sacrifices, the hearts of Israelis and Palestinians are full of new hatred."
He added: "The only way out of the spiral of violence and destruction is to address the underlying issue, which is the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. There will be peace and security only when Israel will recognize the freedom and sovereignty of the Palestinian state." more >>