Bureau of General Assembly’s Palestinian Rights Committee Renews Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Strip

The following statement was issued today by the Bureau of the General Assembly's Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

The Bureau of the General Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People reiterates its appeal for an immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip leading to a cessation of hostilities, as called for in its statement of 17 October and by an overwhelming majority in the General Assembly on 27 October.

Israel’s relentless and heavy bombardment of densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip, since 7 October, and its recent ground invasion of northern Gaza has resulted in nearly 9,000 Palestinians killed, mostly women and children, some 22,000 others wounded and 2,000 are missing, most likely under the rubble.  These indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian objects constitute grave breaches of international law and must cease immediately.  Israel, the occupying Power, must comply with its obligations, including to allow and facilitate immediate and unimpeded humanitarian aid for Palestinians civilians in Gaza including food, water, fuel, electricity and medical supplies.

The Bureau once more demands full respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law, and for a halt to the indiscriminate attacks against Palestinian and Israeli civilians and protected objects, including hospitals, schools, places of worship and UN facilities — some 70 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) staff members have been also killed during the bombings.  In line with the resolution adopted by the General Assembly, the Bureau also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all civilians who are being illegally held captive.

The international community cannot stand by and watch as this horrific Nakba continues to be inflicted on the Palestinian people.   The Bureau condemns the persistent voices in Israel inciting against and dehumanizing Palestinians, as well as the provocative calls for their forced transfer from their ancestral land and for the “destruction” of the Gaza Strip.  The Bureau stresses the urgency of the gathering of evidence by UN international mechanisms, including the International Criminal Court, to ensure accountability of all the crimes being perpetrated.

The Bureau is also gravely concerned about the escalation of tensions and settler violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.  Israeli Government officials have openly distributed assault weapons to extremist Israeli settlers who have increased their attacks and forcibly displaced entire Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills, with the support of the Israeli occupation army.  The Bureau cautions that such actions will further destabilize the West Bank and lead to more violence.

Force will not end the legitimate Palestinian national aspirations.  Only the fulfilment of their inalienable human rights, including to self-determination and return, and a credible peace process leading to the implementation of the two-State solution will do.  This reflects the overwhelming consensus of the international community, and its parameters are well known:  two States, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security, and with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine.  This formula, based on international law and UN resolutions is the most viable path to a just and lasting peace to the region.

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For information media. Not an official record.