Today, as the world celebrates World Children’s Day in remembrance of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, we are calling for an end to the unprecedented killings of civilians. This includes the tragic deaths of over 4,500 children in Gaza and over 30 children in Israel. The International Humanitarian Law is being directly and constantly challenged, despite the promises of “never again.” Civilian infrastructure, such as homes, hospitals, schools, churches, and mosques, should not be the target of military offensives.
The medical services in the Gaza Strip are struggling to cope, with thousands of sick and wounded individuals, including children, suffering in inhumane conditions. A humanitarian pause is not sufficient to address the tremendous suffering of the 2.3 million civilians trapped inside Gaza. The only way to stop civilian deaths, enable the provision of essential humanitarian assistance, and reestablish basic services such as fuel, electricity, and clean water is through an agreement to a ceasefire.
It is crucial that all hostages, including the 30 children currently being held hostage, are unconditionally released. The nightmarish situation in Gaza must come to an end. The ongoing violence is causing immense suffering and must be stopped immediately.