SOLIDAR Statement: Palestine/Israel | A stop to the spiral of violence, war crimes and human rights violations!

Last Saturday, 7th October, Hamas went on a full-scale attack on Southern Israel and its civilian population, indiscriminately assaulting, kidnapping, and killing more than a 1300 innocent Israeli men, women, and children in the most brutal way, while letting thousands of rockets rain. The death toll and horrific details of the attack are still coming to light, but what we have learnt so far are of unspeakable atrocities and cruelty. SOLIDAR vehemently condemns these horrendous war crimes and demands that the kidnapped are released to be reunited with their loved ones and the wounded receive the appropriate medical care.

Hamas ruthless attack has since resulted in a massive Israeli counterattack of indiscriminate bombings that has already killed more than 1500 civilian Palestinians out of which more than 500 are children. The attacks have also hit civilian infrastructure, UN facilities and humanitarian staff, and there are reports of the use of incendiary weapons employing white phosphorus. The death toll and the number of wounded increases by the hour as the bombardment continues.

Additionally, since Monday, the Israeli government has put Gaza and its two million people under a complete siege, cutting water, fuel, and electricity. This to a population that has already been suffering under a military blockade for the past 16 years. As of today they are encouraging Gaza City’s 1,1 million residents to evacuate in 24 hours. UNWRA describes the rapidly escalating crisis as “bone-chilling”. These most brutal acts of vengeance and collective punishment constitute war crimes and clearly breaches international law, as both EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Borell and the UN has emphasized.

This spiral of violence must stop!

We therefore:

  • Call on the EU, international institutions, and Heads of State to use their influence to de-escalate the situation, to take an unequivocal stance in favor of international law and on the side of the civilian victims, to clearly condemn Hamas’ as well as Israel’s war crimes.
  • Call on Hamas to release all hostages unconditionally and with immediate effect.
  • Call on Israel to cease the indiscriminate bombing over people in the Gaza strip and end the ongoing siege immediately.
  • Call on EU and the Member states to maintain the level of aid in this rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis. Now, more than ever, solidarity with civilians is needed. It is completely unacceptable to, as some member states are considering, cut or suspend aid amid the current humanitarian tragedy in Gaza and the escalating civilian needs. With the potential collapse of existing support mechanisms, the consequences would be unimaginable. We join UNRWA in their call on all actors to use all their diplomatic efforts to guarantee access to humanitarian aid, maintain funding, as well as guarantee the protection and safeguarding of humanitarian and development aid actors.
  • Call on the UN Security Council to promote an international peace conference to take concrete commitments, in accordance with existing UN resolutions and with aim of a two-state solution, starting from the recognition of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and establishment of the state of Palestine.

International humanitarian law must always be the guiding principle, applied to both parties in this conflict, using the same standards. This also concerns ceremonial moments and symbolic gestures or official visits. We cannot fuel this very dangerous situation with the perpetuating application of double standards that has defined the situation in Israel and Palestine for decades.

Picture Credits: Anas-Mohammed via ShutterstockCut