Israel and the occupied territories: People in Gaza and Israel need an urgent respite from the fighting

Israel and the occupied territories: People in Gaza and Israel need an urgent respite from the fighting

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A statement in the name of Fabrizio Carboni, ICRC Near and Middle East Director.
Statement 19 May 2021 Israel and the occupied territories

"People in Gaza and Israel urgently need respite from non-stop hostilities, as we enter the second week of airstrikes and rockets. People - exhausted from sleepless nights, from constant fear, worry and grief - need a window during which they can go outside and about their business without fear of being killed or injured, or of witnessing death or injury to others. They need to check on family members, to shop, to get medicine or see a doctor if possible, and to make repairs to their homes and businesses, many of which have been damaged.

The torment of not knowing whether it is safe to take the shortest trip or run the most basic of errands is one that weighs heavily on people after more than a week of fighting.

Humanitarian actors also need to be able to move around, meet and hear from people in order to assess their needs and respond with the necessary assistance.

"Today we informed both Israeli and Hamas authorities that as of tomorrow, we would be moving around and stepping-up progressively our response to critical needs. Both parties have a clear legal responsibility to facilitate such action and movements, even more so in the current circumstances."

For more information, please contact:

Suhair Zakkout (Gaza): szakkout@icrc.org or +972 599 255 381

Christoph Hanger (Tel Aviv/Jerusalem): changer@icrc.org or +972 526 019 150

Yahia Masswadeh (Jerusalem): ymasswadeh@icrc.org or +972 526 019 148

Sara Alzawqari (Beirut): salzawqari@icrc.org or +961 3 138 353

Ruth Hetherington (Geneva): rhetherington@icrc.org or +33 6 33 2888 23

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