The humanitarian situation in Gaza is catastrophic – Act now!Statement by Anna Sundström, Secretary-General of the Olof Palmes Internationella Center on the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
We are alarmed by the humanitarian situation in Gaza. So far, over 1,417 Palestinians, including 447 children, have been killed, 6,268 have been injured and more than 250,000 people have been displaced from their homes*.
The deliberate blockade of water, electricity and other essential supplies is a ticking humanitarian bomb. Hospitals are now unable to provide critical health services, and medicine and food are running out fast.
Depriving food, water, and medicines as part of a ”complete siege” is not only a violation of international law but also a serious violation of basic human rights. It is retaliation, not defense.
With the stated goal of maximizing damage in the area, massive bombing is carried out by Israel in densely populated areas with nowhere for people to seek shelter or flee. Attacks on civilians are never acceptable, regardless of who is carrying them out.
A ground invasion is now imminent. Last night, Israel recommended 1.1 million people in northern Gaza to move to southern Gaza within 24 hours. But how will civilians find shelter and help in a trapped Gaza? Consequently, the UN is appealing to Israel to change this decision as such a move is impossible without ”catastrophic humanitarian consequences”.
The violence must stop, the hostages released, and international law followed. Civilians need to be protected!
Israel must fully respect the principles of proportionality, necessity and distinction between civilian and military targets.
The international community needs to take immediate and meaningful action to stop the indiscriminate violence and to protect the lives of civilians.
A humanitarian corridor to Gaza must be established immediately, in accordance with UN requirements. Medicines and food are needed for civilians.
We urge the Swedish government and other governments internationally, to urgently work for this as well as to contribute with increased humanitarian aid.
– Anna Sundström, Secretary-General Olof Palmes Internationella Center
*The numbers keep increasing.