Friday, May 24, 2024

Hundreds of rights organizations demand end to Israel arms transfers

More than 250 humanitarian and human rights organizations worldwide have called for ending weapons transfers to Israel amid the Israeli war in the Gaza Strip.

A statement demanding these actions, which was initially issued in January with a signee list that included sixteen major humanitarian and human rights organizations, has in recent months grown substantially as the Israeli military has intensified its attacks in Gaza.

The joint statement described itself as “an open call to all UN member states to stop fueling the crisis in Gaza and avert further humanitarian catastrophe and loss of civilian life”.

“We, the undersigned organizations, call on all states to immediately halt the transfer of weapons, parts, and ammunition to Israel,” it said, pointing to the “risk they are used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law.”

“Israel’s bombardment and siege are depriving the civilian population of the basics to survive and rendering Gaza uninhabitable. Today, the civilian population in Gaza faces a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented severity and scale.”

The statement highlighted the fact that more than 153 UN member states have called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, warning that “Israel continues to use explosive weapons and munitions in densely populated areas with massive humanitarian consequences for the people of Gaza.

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

Among the statement’s signatories are Save the Children, Oxfam, the Jewish Network for Palestine, Medico International and Christian Aid.

“Gaza today is the most dangerous place to be a child, a journalist and an aid worker. Hospitals and schools should never become battlegrounds,” the statement read.

It also warned against recent calls by top Israeli officials for the deportation of Palestinian civilians from 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,” the statement added.

Israel unleashed the bloody war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas launched Operation al-Aqsa Storm in the occupied territories in retaliation for the Tel Aviv regime’s incessant crimes against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

Since the start of the aggression, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 33,600 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the territory.

The campaign has devastated large swathes of Gaza, destroyed hospitals and displaced most of its population of 2.4 million.

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