Trócaire is horrified by the recent escalation of violence across Israel and Palestine and condemns the indiscriminate attacks, hostage taking and killing of innocent civilians that have taken place during the Hamas incursion into Israel in recent days, acts that amount to war crimes.
Similarly, the indiscriminate bombing and the intentional attacks against the Palestinian civilian population and infrastructure such as hospitals and schools by the Israeli army also amount to war crimes. We are deeply concerned by Israel’s decision to block the entrance of food, fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip. Imposing a total closure of the Strip amounts to collective punishment of an unprecedented scale, on an already vulnerable and impoverished population. Women and children will bear the brunt of these extreme actions.
Trócaire calls on all parties involved in the conflict to immediately cease hostilities and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that critical humanitarian access and supports such as food, water and medical supplies are guaranteed. It is imperative that international law is respected by all parties and that civilians and humanitarian workers are protected from harm. Additionally, there needs to be full accountability for all violations of international law.
The latest violence has resulted not only in the loss of innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives but is exacerbating an already unbearable situation in the Gaza Strip where 80% of the population are dependent on humanitarian assistance and poverty levels are catastrophically high.
Trócaire wants peace in Israel and Palestine. We want that peace to be based on mutual respect and understanding, with security, justice and equality for all. Decades of military occupation and 16 years of a blockade of the Gaza Strip, along with the systematic discrimination and oppression that Palestinians endure daily, have continued to erode the possibilities for this to be achieved and have deepened and entrenched poverty levels. There is an compelling need to address these root causes urgently and comprehensively, and it is incumbent on the international community to take immediate steps to this end.
Trócaire will continue to monitor the situation closely and will stay in close contact with our local partners over the coming hours and days to support the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need.