16 human rights organisations are calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza war. Hamas is also prepared to do so. On Friday, the International Court of Justice could order Israel to halt all military operations.
An alliance of 16 international aid and human rights organisations is calling on the member states of the United Nations (UN) to immediately stop the supply of weapons to the state of Israel and to armed Palestinian groups. Weapons parts and ammunition should also not be supplied “while there is risk they are used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law”, according to an appeal published on Wednesday.
The signatories include the organisations medico international, Doctors of the World, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Save the Children and Christian Aid. “The warfare in Gaza is robbing the civilian population of their livelihoods and their future. For more than three months, people have been confronted with a humanitarian catastrophe from which there is no escape and which is unfolding before the eyes of the world public,” comments Riad Othman, Middle East Consultant at medico international.
In a press release on the appeal, medico international calls for “a courageous commitment by the international community for an immediate ceasefire”. Representatives of the United Nations and more than 153 member states have also made this demand. For example, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had already warned of the “increased risk of atrocities” in the Gaza Strip on 6 December 2023 and called on all states to prevent such crimes.
“Armed groups in Gaza have continued to indiscriminately fire rockets toward population centres in Israel, disrupting school for children, displacing and threatening the lives and well-being of civilians,” the 16 organisations write. Israel continues to use explosive weapons and ammunition in densely populated areas.
Medico international criticises German policy in this regard: “Instead of working to put an immediate end to the killing and dying, the German government is considering supplying Israel with weapons of war.” This refers to last week’s announcement of the German government to issue an export licence for tank ammunition to Israel for Rheinmetall.
On Wednesday, Israel continued its attacks with tank troops in Khan Junis in the south of the Gaza Strip. There are said to be an estimated 425,000 internally displaced people in the region who are now being forced to flee again. Medico international is working with a partner organisation in Khan Yunis.
In the background, international mediators are endeavouring to achieve a new ceasefire. According to the Wall Street Journal, Hamas is said to have shown itself open to the release of some Israeli hostages if Israel is prepared for a “significant” ceasefire. So far, Hamas has linked any further hostage releases to an end to the war.
British Foreign Secretary David Cameron is also expected to attend talks in Israel today. He wants to express his concern about the high number of Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip and advocate a lasting ceasefire, reported the “Jerusalem Post”. Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani is also travelling to Beirut, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah for meetings.
On Friday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is also expected to deliver its first judgement in the genocide proceedings against Israel, reports the South African agency News24. A government delegation from South Africa is said to have already landed at the court in The Hague. The government in Pretoria had accused Israel of possible genocide in Gaza before the ICJ. According to the report, the 17-member jury could, as a provisional measure, order Israel to cease all military operations in Gaza until the case is decided on the merits.
According to the health authority in Gaza, the Israeli military has so far killed more than 25,000 people in the Gaza Strip, including at least 10,000 children. According to UN estimates, 1.7 million of the 2.2 million inhabitants have become internally displaced persons as a result of the war. More than half a million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are at risk of starvation, the 16 organisations write in their appeal. More than 70% of the houses in the Gaza Strip, the majority of schools and the water and sewage infrastructure have also been destroyed or damaged by Israeli attacks.
Published in German in „nd“.