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Extension of the ceasefire in Gaza: call for a lasting decision

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Armed violence reduction | Palestine | PUBLISHED ON November 28th 2023
Mobilisation in front of HI headquarters for a ceasefire in the Middle East.

Mobilisation in front of HI headquarters for a ceasefire in the Middle East. | © M. Vuaillat-Verrier / HI

Humanity & Inclusion – Handicap International welcomes the extension of the ceasefire between the Hamas and Israel. While we acknowledge this additional temporary respite coming after a four-days ceasefire, we urgently call for a lasting and comprehensive ceasefire to address the pressing needs of people in the Gaza Strip, with a particular focus on those with injuries, disabilities and physical impairments who face unique challenges in accessing crucial medical treatment and assistance. In parallel, all civilian hostages should be immediately released without conditions.

The ceasefire has provided a brief pause from the distressing sounds of bombs and explosions, offering respite from the grievous consequences of explosive weapons. Additional two days are for sure welcomed. However, a long-lasting ceasefire is imperative to enable people, especially those with disabilities and injuries to meet their basic needs and allow the humanitarian agencies to scale their response.

Bombing and shelling have caused extensive damage, including 10,000 buildings destroyed, over 43,000 residential buildings affected, and more than 225,000 partially damaged housing units. Additionally, hospitals and medical centers require more than four days to treat patients properly and offer adequate medical treatment.

1.7 million displaced people

The alarming statistics from the Government Media Office, reporting more than 14,800 fatalities in Gaza on 23 November, including approximately 6,000 children and 4,000 women, underscore the urgent need for a permanent ceasefire. The rising number of internally displaced people, estimated at over 1.7 million individuals, with nearly 927,000 sheltering in 99 facilities in the south, signals a dire situation. Winter's onset further compounds the challenges faced by displaced persons, necessitating the provision of proper shelters to protect them from the cold and the rain. Once again, we stress the urgency of addressing the specific needs of persons with disabilities in these shelter arrangements, ensuring accessibility and inclusivity.

We urgently call for a long lasting ceasefire to alleviate the suffering of the people in Gaza allowing the most needed humanitarian aid to continuously enter into Gaza. Immediate action is essential to prevent further loss of life, protect civilians, and rebuild the shattered communities in accordance with international humanitarian law.

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