Conectas backs appeals by UN authorities to protect civilians and resolve the conflict in the region of Israel and Palestine

UN representatives call for an end to the conflict between Hamas and Israel

Conflito entre Israel e Palestina. Foto: Mohammed Abed/  AFP Conflito entre Israel e Palestina. Foto: Mohammed Abed/ AFP

Over the past 10 days, high-ranking representatives of the United Nations have been calling for an immediate end to the escalation of the conflict between Hamas and Israel. In speeches and statements to the press, they have expressed serious concerns regarding the violence and the multiple human rights violations that have intensified in the wake of recent events.

In his first address to the international community, on October 11, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, emphasized the urgency of a commitment from the authorities involved: “I appeal to all parties – and those who have an influence over those parties – to avoid any further escalation and spillover. I call for the immediate release of all Israeli hostages held in Gaza. Civilians must be protected at all times.”

Later, on October 13, Guterres indicated that the situation had reached a new level of violence, stating that: “Moving more than one million people across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water or accommodation, when the entire territory is under siege, is extremely dangerous – and in some cases, simply not possible. Hospitals in the south of Gaza are already at capacity and will not be able to accept thousands of new patients from the north. The health system is on the brink of collapse.”

In a similar vein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, urged all sides to de-escalate the violent clashes. He joined the call for an immediate end to the violence and the protection of civilians. He appealed to the parties to halt the “vicious cycles of vengeance, which decades of experience have taught us will have disastrous and possibly irreparable long-term effects on peace and security for everyone – in Israel, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, across the region and beyond,” said Türk.

In statements by UN special procedures, experts with mandates to investigate human rights, another important focus has concerned guaranteeing access to financial and humanitarian aid. Signaling the urgency of respecting international humanitarian law and international human rights law, especially in times of crisis, 30 rapporteurs spoke out in support of the need to break the cycle of violence and the inability of armed attacks and military responses to produce a more secure situation in the region. 

They also condemned the violence committed by Hamas and the indiscriminate attacks by Israeli military forces against civilians, as well as the dehumanizing language being used, reinforcing that: “Indiscriminately killing civilians in the context of hostilities, with no regard for the principles of distinction, precaution and proportionality, is a war crime.” Finally, they requested financial and humanitarian assistance for the victims, the creation of a humanitarian corridor and the establishment of a ceasefire to be monitored by the international community.

In this respect, Conectas backs the appeals by the UN authorities for the protection of civilians and a resolution of the conflict.

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