The Elders have urged US President Joe Biden to put a peace plan that will end the conflict in the Middle East.
The Elders, an organisation of ex-leaders formed by Nelson Mandela, said Biden has an opportunity to end the conflict and for him to achieve that he needs to bring together a coalition of partners to do so.
They said there was no military solution to this conflict, and only negotiations will deliver peace in the region.
Members of The Elders include Graça Machel, former UN Secretary-General Ban Kim-Moon, ex-Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the former prime minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, ex-Irish president Mary Robinson and Gro Harlem Brundtland, who was the prime minister of Norway.
In an open letter to the US president, The Elders said a lasting solution to the conflict must be found and Biden was in a position to do it.
If the violence continues there will be no solution, they said, and Biden had to step in and intervene before it was too late
Already over 12,000 people have been killed in the conflict and Palestinians are facing a humanitarian crisis.
“Israeli policies of expanding illegal settlements in the West Bank, and normalising relations with Arab countries while bypassing the Palestinians, have not made Israelis safe. Successive US governments have been complicit in these failures.
“The only way to make Israelis and Palestinians safe is a lasting political solution. It must guarantee the security of Israel, whose people remain under threat. And it must meet Palestinians’ legitimate aspirations for their own state. Long denied during 56 years of occupation, these hopes are fading fast, as innocent Palestinians die in the rubble of Gaza and the stolen lands of the West Bank,” said The Elders.
They said now was the time to start working on a peace plan to find a lasting solution.
They said the conflict was tearing the world apart, and the people of Gaza have suffered for weeks now.
“The Elders learned from our founder, Nelson Mandela, that the road from hatred to forgiveness can be long and difficult. Some will never walk it. But the majority of Palestinians and Israelis want to live in peace, not endure yet more violence. Please help them find the path to peace,” said the former leaders.
The conflict in the Middle East is in its fifth week with thousands of people killed.