DHARAMSHALA: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has described the ongoing violent conflict between Palestine and Isreal in Gaza as ‘unimaginable’, saying he did not expect such sort of violence from people who claim to hold religious principles.
“All major religious traditions — Islam, Christianity, Hindu, of course, Jainism and Buddhism – all major religious traditions — teach us the practice of compassion, love, forgiveness, tolerance. So then a person who believes in certain faith, why do you involve in such violence?,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama told reporters on Monday in response to a question about the crisis.
“It is really very, very sad,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama said.
The UN Human Rights Council today held an emergency debate in Geneva to diffuse the crisis, as the death toll on the 16th day of the conflict rises to 700, including more than 690 Palestinians and 34 Israelis.
Noting that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was currently in the region hoping to bolster support for a ceasefire, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said she hoped that the parties will respond positively, but cautioned that a lasting peace can only begin with respect for human rights and human dignity, and in the full realization of the right to self-determination.
Ms Pillay said Israel had not done enough to protect civilians, citing air strikes and the shelling of homes and hospitals.
She also condemned Hamas and other militant groups for “indiscriminate attacks” on Israel.
Aid agencies said a child had been killed every hour on average in the past two days and there had been a sharp spike in premature births. Gaza officials said more than 3,000 homes had been destroyed or damaged and 46 schools, 56 mosques and seven hospitals had been hit, the Guardian reported.