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Gaza ceasefire statement

Christian Aid welcomes Israel’s unilateral declaration of a ceasefire and urges both parties to immediately cease hostilities.

It is critical that all crossings into Gaza are immediately opened to deal with the devastating humanitarian disaster.

The need for humanitarian assistance cannot be overstated: Gazans need immediate food, shelter and support to rebuild their shattered lives, medical assistance is needed for those who have been injured, and many will need access to hospitals outside of Gaza through the crossings.

‘Humanitarian agencies must have immediate, regular and unimpeded access through the Gaza crossings for the urgent assistance required to deal with the massive scale of the crisis,’ says Janet Symes Christian Aid’s head of the Middle East region. ‘This access must be guaranteed on a continuous basis regardless of any changes.

‘The destruction of food supplies, vehicles, medical facilities, roads and integral infrastructure has made the provision of humanitarian assistance to those in need almost impossible. Even before the onset of the bombing on December 27 the humanitarian situation was already dire.

‘The devastating violence we have witnessed in Gaza has cost the lives of over one thousand people and children have borne the brunt of the attacks,’ says Ms Symes. 

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has stated that the time has come for a fundamental change in the dynamics of Gaza. A return to the situation prior to the escalation of the crisis cannot be allowed.

One of the reasons for the current situation is that the international community has consistently failed to hold both parties accountable. Reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law must be investigated.

‘The international community must not make the mistakes of the past and should now engage with all actors involved in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to ensure a comprehensive, just and viable solution to guarantee peace and security for all involved.

‘Short term solutions and returning to ‘business as usual’ will only lead to another escalation on a scale far greater than we have recently witnessed,’ says Ms Symes.

Notes to editors:

Contact details: for further information or to arrange interviews with partners in Gaza or with Janet Symes, Christian Aid head of Middle East region here in the UK, please contact Judith Melby on 07720 467 679 or jmelby@christian-aid.org 

Where possible we ask if you would please publish or broadcast details for our emergency appeal:

To donate to Christian Aid’s emergency appeal for Gaza please go to  www.christianaid.org.uk/gaza