ECCP condemns the devastating violence in Israel and Gaza in recent days. Deliberately targeting civilians, carrying out disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks which kill or injure civilians are war crimes.
In the morning of October 13, Israel ordered 1.1 million Palestinians to “evacuate” the northern half of the occupied Gaza Strip, prompting UN officials to warn of an impending and unprecedented catastrophe.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN officials have urged Israel to cancel its evacuation order, saying that forcing vulnerable patients to evacuate hospitals in Gaza amounts to a “death sentence.”
Addressing the recent crisis, its context and underlying causes, and the absolute need for the occupying power as well as all resistance groups of the people under occupation to respect international law and to abide by the prohibition against harming civilians, is vital.
But the top priority now for anyone who cares about human rights and upholding international law is to pressure governments and the UN to impose a ceasefire, to provide protection for civilians, and to compel Israel, the occupying power, to allow urgent humanitarian aid, including food, water, medical equipment and electricity, in to the 2.3 million Palestinians trapped in the Israeli-occupied and hermetically besieged Gaza Strip.
Since October 8th, the Palestinians in Gaza have been under the most intense, relentless and indiscriminate Israeli bombardment ever, targeting homes, markets, schools and universities, hospitals, healthworkers, journalists, and the entire civilian infrastructure. The Israeli occupation forces are implementing their “Dahiya Doctrine,” which precisely calls for “disproportionate force” to maximise damage to civilians and civilian infrastructure. This is a blatant violation of international law.
Entire families have, again, been wiped off the face of the earth. Since Saturday, Israel’s bombs have murdered over 1,500 Palestinians, over a third of them children. Over half a million have been displaced, even before the impending catastrophic “evacuation” orders.
We need to act now, with utmost urgency. Many Palestinian lives depend on it.
We call on all European governments to request an emergency UN session to stop the upcoming massacre in Gaza and to ensure that United Nations conventions are fully implemented.
We call for an immediate ceasefire, UN protection for Palestinians in Gaza now and allowance for humanitarian aid to be delivered immediately.