With the start of the new year, violence is escalating and getting worse, with reports that more than 200 Palestinians have been killed since January 1, 2023. This war has taken the lives of more than 22,000 people, mainly women and children, and we cannot remain silent.
Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) expresses our utmost revulsion over the hostilities and impunity arising from the Israel-Palestine conflict that has led to the death of tens of thousands of civilians and noncombatants, including women, the elderly, children, health workers, and journalists.
The Hamas’ October 7, 2023 attack on Israel and the continuous and indiscriminate bombing of Gaza by Israeli forces cannot be justified both legally and morally given the magnitude of the loss of lives and destruction of property, culture, and environment. The war not only impacts people but has also led to the destruction of the environment - the agricultural land, contamination of water, and the destruction of cultural heritage and symbols like Palestine’s olive trees. As always, people and the environment become collateral in any war.
We are appalled at Israel’s imposition of restrictions on the water pipelines and electricity, which led to health and sanitation problems in Gaza. The United Nations has reported that children in the Southern Gaza Strip access only 1.5 to 2 liters of water daily, way below the estimated minimum of 3 liters per day needed to survive. With the ongoing hostilities, half of Gaza is starving, and people are at risk of diseases.
In areas where people sought safety, there is the problem of overcrowding with many sleeping in the open with inadequate clothing. We are deeply bothered that a blockage of humanitarian support and supplies is being imposed.
Last December 22, 2023, the United Nations Security Council issued a resolution to boost humanitarian aid to Gaza, that aims “to create the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.” However, despite this, there is still difficulty in delivering relief to Gaza. In fact, on December 29, 2023, a U.N. aid convoy traveling in a designated safe route was attacked by the Israeli army. This attack shows that humanitarian aid can be delayed and inadequate if hostilities continue. We urge for an immediate ceasefire on humanitarian and human rights grounds.
We call for an immediate ceasefire NOW!
Cease all military operations and bombings. We urge that civilians, including women and children, must be protected at all times. All parties must respect the International Humanitarian Law to avoid
further civilian casualties.
We support the call of the international community to work towards ending this destruction and protecting the civilians in Gaza and Israel from violence and war crimes. We call upon the Philippine Government and other UN Member states to push for the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid and a ceasefire in the region. We call on the Philippine government to continue registering a voice in favor of peace within the UN, supporting humanitarian efforts, and calling for a ceasefire.
As we closely monitor the situation, PMPI is committed to promoting peace, upholding human rights, and protecting the environment and all living beings in the affected region.
The hostilities and violence in Gaza, Israel, and other affected areas must END NOW!
Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc.