Caritas Internationalis Urges to Cease Fire, Protect People and Guarantee Humanitarian Access

A month after Hamas’ attack on Israel, the latter’s reaction, and the war that has ensued since, Caritas Internationalis urges both parties to cease fire, protect people, guarantee humanitarian access, abide by international law, and release all the hostages.
“Through our common humanity, all human life is equally sacred, and none can be written off as necessary collateral damage,” says Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Alistair Dutton, emphasising the imperative to respect international humanitarian law, including the principle of distinction between civilians and combatants.

Caritas Internationalis has repeatedly reiterated its call for ensuring unimpeded humanitarian access to the population of 2.3 million in Gaza, which has been under siege and deprived of water, food, medicine and fuel for almost a month. All crossings into Gaza must be reopened, from Israel as well as Egypt, to enable adequate humanitarian assistance.
The situation in the West Bank is also deteriorating rapidly, with increasing threats to civilian lives and employment, arbitrary detention and restrictions on free movement.
“All people in the Holy Land have a right to receive humanitarian assistance and all parties to the conflict must adhere to their obligations to ensure this is provided,” adds Dutton.
Caritas insists that civilians and civilian infrastructure must be protected and services that are essential to the civilian population’s survival must be immediately restored.
“The Caritas Confederation joins Pope Francis and the representatives of the local Churches in calling for peace. The humanitarian and human rights consequences of this violence will be devastating, complex and long-lasting, not only in the Holy Land but in the Middle East region at large. This conflict must stop immediately. Now is the time for peace,” concludes Dutton.
Caritas joins its prayers with people of all faiths who pray for peace, understanding and reconciliation, and for a durable, just future for all peoples in the Holy Land and the region of the Middle East.
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