Puri (Odisha), July 27 ANI | 5 months ago

World famous sand artist, Sudarsan Pattnaik, created a sand sculpture at Puri beach in Odisha, urging Israel and Gaza to end the conflict and appealing for peace.

Pattnaik, who is nation's fourth highest civilian award holder, created a five-feet high hand with 'Stop war' written on it and a pigeon holding 'a message of peace'.

Calling peace a solution to the Middle East crisis, he said a peace process must be initiated between both the countries and the United Nations (U.N.) should intervene.

"Both countries should talk and resolve the issue. War is not a solution and local people are being affected to such an extent that one gets to see blood everywhere. So we want to send across a message to both the countries through this art that they should make efforts to initiate peace process and U.N. should be part of it," said Pattnaik.

Spreading the message of peace and harmony through his art work, the artist has participated in more than 50 international sand sculpture championships and festivals around the world and has claimed sundry awards.

The number of Palestinian deaths in the 18 days of conflict has been put at 822, most of them civilians.

International calls for a ceasefire have grown as the death toll has mounted in the worst flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence in almost two years, sparked by the murder of three Israeli teenagers and revenge killing of a Palestinian youth.

An ensuing wave of cancellations by foreign airlines sharply reduced traffic at Israel's usually bustling international gateway at the height of the summer tourist season, and was hailed as a victory by Hamas.

(Posted on 27-07-2014)

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