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Urgent appeal for restraint and adherence to International Humanitarian Law in the escalation of the conflict between Hamas and the government of Israel


Emergency | Protection | International | PUBLISHED ON October 9th 2023
Stop bombing civilians

© HI

The recent attack by Hamas and retaliation by Israel have caused devastating impact on civilians. The continued escalation of violence threatens further loss of civilian life. HI expresses its deepest concern for the safety of civilians on both sides, directly targeted or caught in the crossfire.

We urge the parties to the conflict to de-escalate and reach a ceasefire as soon as possible. The use of heavy explosive weapons in populated areas should stop, as they have a systematic indiscriminate impact on civilians. Moreover, it threatens access to essential services for hundreds of thousands of people, including shelter, water, electricity, and humanitarian assistance. It also impedes the ability of humanitarian aid agencies to respond adequately and quickly to the vast and growing needs of civilians.

Any use of force by all parties involved in the conduct of hostilities must conform to law enforcement standards, including precaution, proportionality, and necessity, aligning with principles derived from human rights law.

The current situation has inflicted immense suffering and loss on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. We stress the importance of prioritizing the safety of civilians and civilian infrastructure. A long-lasting ceasefire is the only way to prevent further deaths, injuries, and human suffering.

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