Immediate ceasefire needed in Israel and Palestine

Violence can never justify more violence.

The rules of war are in place for all actors to follow at all times. Deliberately targeting civilians, hostage-taking, and carrying out disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks that kill or harm civilians constitute war crimes under international humanitarian law.

What is needed right now is an immediate ceasefire to stop the violence and avoid further bloodshed, followed by swift provision of protection and assistance to the affected civilians. This devastating crisis stresses the need for a peaceful and lasting resolution to the military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the 17-year blockade on Gaza.

When providing humanitarian assistance to affected communities, it is vital that the specific challenges and needs of women and marginalised groups are identified and addressed. The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation works with local Palestinian women’s rights organisations to promote women’s human rights. In a region deeply affected by long-standing conflicts, our partners work to strengthen human rights, prevent and fight gender-based violence, provide psychosocial support to women and girls, and promote women’s economic empowerment and participation in society.

It is imperative that civil society organisations working to assist affected populations continue to receive the support needed to carry out their work. Suspending aid to Palestine at this point is wrong as it is now more important than ever to support Palestinians’ struggle for a peaceful and just society. Halting development aid would have severe consequences—including a deterioration of the situation for women affected by violence, a lack of support for survivors, and local civil society organisations not being able to respond to urgent needs.

The current escalation will have long-standing consequences for affected communities on both sides. In Gaza, an unprecedented humanitarian crisis is unfolding and demands urgent attention as well as action. Overnight, the residents of Gaza received a warning from the Israeli army to evacuate the entire northern and central area by 2 PM local time on October 13th. This request is unreasonable—it is not possible to move over a million people in 24 hours. We urge the international community to do everything in their power to stop Israel from carrying out their full-scale invasion.

Kvinna till Kvinna stands in solidarity with those affected. We call on the international community to take action, push for an immediate ceasefire and protect the rights of civilians as clearly stated in International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law.

—The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation