Swedish groups urge Mid-East peace

Swedish non-governmental organisations and politicians issued a joint statement on Saturday urging both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to end violence and respect international law.

“Against a background of a growing spiral of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories” the groups called for “a peace based on international law,” in a written statement which urged both sides to resume dialogue.

The groups were the Swedish committee of the Red Cross, the national branch of world rights group Amnesty International, British NGO Save the Children, Sweden’s Lutheran Church and two other Christian aid and peace bodies.

The statement was also signed by leaders of the country’s Left, Centre and Green parties.

Their call came on the day that Israel rejected a ceasefire appeal from the Palestinian ruling Hamas movement as an offensive in the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces aiming to rescue a solder captured by Palestinians continued.