• Press Release

ISRAEL/OPT: Urgent Need for a Sustained Ceasefire to End Civilian Bloodshed and Mass Suffering as Fighting Resumes

December 1, 2023

©Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images

Reacting to the resumption of attacks by Israel in the occupied Gaza Strip and rocket fire from armed groups into southern Israel after a seven-day truce ended, Erika Guevara-Rosas, Senior Director of Research, Advocacy, Policy and Campaigns at Amnesty International, said:

“We urgently reiterate our call for an immediate enduring ceasefire by all parties to the conflict. Without a ceasefire, the shocking death toll will skyrocket and civilians in Gaza will once again be forced to endure the unimaginable horrors of recent weeks with no safe place to go, no shelter and no humanitarian assistance. Hostages still held by Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza are at further risk. Civilians in Israel also are exposed to harm as a result of the firing of indiscriminate rockets from Gaza. This must stop.

“World leaders should urgently step up their pressure on all parties to reach an immediate and enduring ceasefire.

A ceasefire is the best way to ensure all civilians are protected across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to alleviate mass humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

Erika Guevara-Rosas, Senior Director of Research, Advocacy, Policy and Campaigns at Amnesty International

But even in the absence of a ceasefire, Israel and Hamas must protect civilians by fully respecting the rules of international humanitarian law.

“While the release of 113 hostages, Israelis and foreign citizens, and 240 Palestinian detainees and prisoners is a relief for their families and loved ones, this is not enough. Armed groups must release all civilian hostages. Israeli authorities must release all Palestinians who are arbitrarily detained.”

“All states must live up to their obligation to ensure respect for international humanitarian law, including by demanding unimpeded humanitarian access to civilians throughout Gaza, ending transfers of arms being used by the parties to commit violations, and supporting impartial investigations into war crimes committed by all sides.”  

BACKGROUND 

More than 15,000 people, including 6,000 children, have been killed in Gaza and thousands more injured since this conflict began in October in the aftermath of Hamas and other armed groups’ attacks against Israel. Over 1,200 people were killed during the horrific attacks by Hamas and other armed groups in Israel as well as more than 200 taken hostage. 

During the truce 113 Israeli and foreign nationals held hostage in Gaza and 240 Palestinian prisoners and detainees were released.

To sign Amnesty International’s petition demanding an immediate ceasefire, click this link.

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