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Ceasefire NOW: One month into the Israel-Gaza war, urgent call to stop horrific violence

A young man walks alone through building rubble. Behind him, buildings are still standing but are clearly damaged.

CARE, Geneva, 7 November 2023 – With an unprecedented 10,000 people killed in just one month, a rapidly escalating humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding before our eyes in Gaza and risks spreading to the West Bank and enflaming the region. Palestinian families are facing hunger and thirst, healthcare is collapsing, while the families of 240 Israeli and foreign hostages desperately await news of their loved ones’ fates.

CARE International calls for the release of hostages, an immediate ceasefire by all parties, the free flow of humanitarian aid inside Gaza, and the evacuation of the sick and wounded. This horrific violence must stop now. All parties to this conflict, including Israel, must respect their obligation to protect innocent civilian lives.

“My colleagues in Gaza speak of drinking water from a swimming pool, of their children crying for lack of bread, and of nights that are something out of a horror film amid incessant bombardment and airstrikes,” said Hiba Tibi, CARE West Bank and Gaza Country Director. “Like the 2.3 million Gazans around them, they don’t know if they will still be alive the next morning, or even the next hour. This conflict is killing children and robbing millions of their dignity. The time to protect our common humanity is now. We need an immediate ceasefire and the resumption of safe, unimpeded, and sustained humanitarian aid into Gaza.”

In Israel, it was reported that over 1,400 Israelis were killed, the vast majority of them on 7 October. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, the death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 10,000, of whom over 4,000 are children and 2,550 are women. Humanitarian and health workers have died in record numbers over the past 31 days.

People in Gaza were already dependent on humanitarian aid before recent events due to 16 years of blockade.  Since the latest escalation, they have endured 30 days of nearly complete siege that has left them with severely limited clean water, food, fuel, electricity and medical supplies. Six in 10 people are displaced, many of them in overcrowded shelters where disease is becoming rampant. Doctors and nurses are struggling to cope with the volume of injured patients who lie on hospital floors. Surgeons use torchlight to operate without sufficient disinfectant or even proper anaesthetics. The collapsing healthcare and dire living conditions are exacerbating the risk of maternal and newborn mortality, which was already disproportionately high in Gaza.

Civilians, including children, the wounded, the disabled, the elderly, cancer patients and people suffering from chronic illnesses have no place to flee. Tens of thousands are caught in the crossfire. There is no safe place in Gaza.

CARE continues to call for all parties to uphold their responsibilities and obligations under international humanitarian law. This includes the illegal taking of hostages following the abhorrent attacks in Israel a month ago, which is a clear violation of these laws. All must be immediately released unharmed.

“Today, we are witnessing the unspeakable suffering of civilians in Gaza, for whom international law guarantees protection. These principles are non-negotiable and must be respected,” said Sofia Sprechmann-Sineiro, CARE International’s Secretary General.

“Water and electricity must be reinstated, the critically ill and injured evacuated, and safe and sustainable humanitarian aid be allowed to deliver at scale. An immediate ceasefire is needed now before countless more lives are lost.”

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Anisa Husain

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