It’s that time of year where we walk through our towns and villages and see the bright lights of the Christmas trees. Where we see stars presenting hope and light.

When we feast too much, drink and be merry. When we attend nativity plays in our schools, chapels and churches; celebrating with our young people; enjoying time with our families, peace with our neighbours.

As we talk about Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Hebron; centres of importance to Judaism, Christianity, Islam or Bahai’s Faith – and talk about peace with our fellowmen – remember the current suffering in that land. Of men, women and children impoverished in Gaza, with no electricity, lack of food, no roofs over their heads let alone any hope for the future. 

As Israel presses its military offensive across Gaza, as a response to the Hamas atrocities in October, the army has been repeatedly advising some two million civilians to move to a “humanitarian zone” smaller than London’s Heathrow Airport. Al-Mawasi is a narrow strip of land by the Mediterranean Sea. The zone designated as safe by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), is just 8.5 sq km (3.3 sq miles).


Thousands of homes, schools, hospitals, mosques and stores have been destroyed. U.N. monitors have said that about 70% of school buildings across Gaza have been damaged. 

According to data from the media office of the territory’s government, those killed since the war began on 7 October included about 8,000 children and 6,200 women.

The head of the UN World Health Organisation has said he is “deeply concerned” about the “toxic mix of disease, hunger and lack of hygiene and sanitation” that people in Gaza are facing.

The last functioning hospital in northern Gaza was Al-Ahli Hospital but fuel, power, medical supply and staffing shortages have rendered it “minimally functional.” 

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We have men, and it’s usually men, on both sides who want to be tough and throw missiles at each other whilst it’s women and children who in the main suffer. Violence will achieve nothing and merely create another generation of recruits for Hamas.

At a time of peace and goodwill to all, at a time of hope, at a time when many look towards the Holy land, let’s unite in calling for peace let’s have that much needed ceasefire, releasing of the hostages and a commitment to a two state solution.