I'm almost pleased that the violence in Gaza has erupted during the dead-time between Christmas and New Year - at least it means it gets the news coverage it deserves. At a time when this holy land is at the forefront of our minds, it seems fitting that the unholy conflict taking place there should be brought to our attention again.
There's almost nothing I can write about it, I certainly can't be profound.
I've not been there, but I know people who have. I also know people whose lives have been directly affected by the conflict. But you don't need to have been there to be affected by what's taking place - just look at the stark statistics:
Death toll since bombing began on Saturday - 315
Injured since Saturday - 1,400+
Number of Israelis killed by Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza over the last 8 years - 18 (approx)
[Source: 'Gaza death toll tops 300...', today's Guardian]
It's a time when all I can do is read the articles and watch the reports and pray. If I get the chance I'll head over to one of the demos outside the Israeli embassy. At the same time, I inwardly seeth when I see that a friend on facebook has become a supporter of Tzipi Lvini, the current Israeli Foreign Minister, standing for PM in their next elections.
I've got a request though...
Whatever happens in the next few days, weeks and months; don't forget about Gaza, the West Bank, the Palestinian people and the Israelis. When it disappears from the news and front pages there will still be people whose day to day lives are being destroyed by this conflict. If you pray, then pray for peace. If you don't, just stay informed - it's that simple.