The Geneva Council vehemently denounces the escalating hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel, calling for an immediate cessation of violence and a resolute international intervention to address the worsening humanitarian crisis.
The situation in the Gaza Strip has reached a critical juncture, with heavy Israeli bombardments causing immense civilian casualties and infrastructure devastation. The Geneva Council stands in solidarity with the innocent victims of this conflict and urges all parties involved to prioritize the protection of civilian lives.
As of December 14, the Ministry of Health in Gaza reports at least 179 Palestinians killed and 303 injured between December 13 and 14, bringing the overall casualty count since October 7 to a staggering 18,787 Palestinians killed and approximately 50,897 injured. The Council strongly condemns the disproportionate impact on women and children, constituting around 70% of the reported casualties.
Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya, subjected to repeated raids and assaults, epitomizes the dire situation faced by medical facilities. The Geneva Council expresses deep concern over reports of forced evacuations, mass arrests, and ill-treatment of Palestinians within the hospital premises. The detention of medical staff and prevention of essential support to patients, including infants in intensive care, are egregious violations of international humanitarian law.
In addition, the Geneva Council raises alarm over the severe disruption of humanitarian aid and the insufficient entry of supplies into the Gaza Strip. Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General, aptly noted, “What we need today is not just 100 trucks, or 200 trucks. We need meaningful, at scale, uninterrupted and unconditional flow of basic commodities into the Gaza Strip.”
Telecommunication services were also reported as cut on December 14, further hindering emergency services and humanitarian efforts. The Council emphasizes the critical need for sustained communication channels to ensure effective responses to the escalating crisis.
The withdrawal of Israeli forces from Jenin City and Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, after a 60-hour curfew, resulted in 11 Palestinian fatalities, including three children. The Council underscores the urgency of addressing the impact of hostilities on civilian populations in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Electricity blackouts, water shortages, and damage to essential infrastructure exacerbate the dire humanitarian situation. The Geneva Council calls for immediate attention to the plight of civilians, especially in terms of healthcare, water, sanitation, and hygiene.
The Council urges the international community to recognize the urgency of the situation and take immediate action to bring about a sustainable ceasefire. Furthermore, the Geneva Council calls on international bodies, including the United Nations, to facilitate humanitarian assistance and protection for the affected populations in the Gaza Strip and Israel.
In conclusion, the Geneva Council reiterates its commitment to impartial reporting and calls for a swift resolution to the escalating hostilities, emphasizing the need for diplomacy and international cooperation to restore peace and address the mounting humanitarian crisis.