Call to UN: Stop Fueling Gaza Crisis, Halt Weapons Transfer – Aid Agencies

Famine, thirst, genocide, and international neglect define the state of affairs in Gaza. (Photo: via Eye on Palestine)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Member states have a legal responsibility to use all possible tools to leverage better protection of civilians and adherence to international humanitarian law.

Demanding an immediate ceasefire, at least 16 leading humanitarian agencies made an open call to all UN member states, “to stop the fueling the crisis in Gaza and avert further humanitarian catastrophe and loss of civilian life.”

In a joint statement on Wednesday, the organizations including Oxfam, Amnesty International and Save the Children said, “We demand an immediate ceasefire and call on all states to halt the transfer of weapons that can be used to commit violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.”

It said that “Gaza today is the most dangerous place to be a child, a journalist, and an aid worker.”

Hospitals and schools, it added, should never become battlegrounds

Humanitarian agencies, human rights groups, UN officials, and more than 153 member states have called for an immediate ceasefire, the statement said.

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“However, Israel continues to use explosive weapons and munitions in densely populated areas with massive humanitarian consequences for the people of Gaza,” the organizations stressed.

It said world leaders have urged the Israeli government to reduce civilian casualties, “yet Israeli military operations in Gaza continue to kill people at unprecedented levels, according to recent remarks by the UN Secretary-General.”

Legal Responsibility by Member States

Member states have a legal responsibility to use all possible tools to leverage better protection of civilians and adherence to international humanitarian law.

The statement also stressed that “Gaza’s remaining lifeline – an internationally-funded humanitarian aid response – has been paralyzed by the intensity of the hostilities.” 

These include “the shooting of aid convoys, recurrent communications blackouts, damaged roads, restrictions on essential supplies, an almost complete ban on commercial supplies, and a bureaucratic process to send aid into Gaza.”

The current conditions, the organizations said, have created a situation of utter desperation inside Gaza, “leading top aid officials to declare that there are no longer the conditions for a meaningful humanitarian response in Gaza.”

“This will not change until the siege, the bombardment and the fighting ends.”

Forced Deportation – ‘An Atrocity Crime’

The statement also highlighted the calls in recent weeks from high ranking Israeli officials for the deportation of Palestinian civilians out of Gaza.

“The forcible transfer within Gaza and deportation of a portion of the population across borders, lacking any guarantees of return, would constitute a serious violation of international law, amounting to an atrocity crime,” it said.

The organizations further said the UN Security Council “must fulfill its responsibility to maintain global peace and security by adopting measures to halt the transfer of weapons to the Government of Israel and Palestinian armed groups and prevent the supply of arms that risk being used in the commission of international crimes, effective immediately.”

All states, it added, have the obligation to prevent atrocity crimes and promote adherence to norms that protect civilians.

“The international community is long overdue to live up to these commitments,” it stated.

Starvation and Food Insecurity

The statement highlighted that more than more than half of a million Palestinians in Gaza face starvation and more than 90% of the population faces acute food insecurity, the highest proportion ever recorded by a technical humanitarian body responsible for making evidence-based assessments of food insecurity.

It also said “not a single medical facility in the enclave is fully operational and those partially functioning are overwhelmed with trauma cases and shortages of medical supplies and doctors.”

More than 300 health workers have been killed, and at least 167 aid workers in Gaza have been killed, the highest of any conflict in this century, the statement said. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 25,700 Palestinians have been killed, and 63,730 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Palestinian and international estimates say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

Palestine Chronicle

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