The International Peace Bureau (IPB), Middle East Treaty Organization (METO), and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) are deeply concerned over the unprecedented Israeli-Palestinian violent escalation launched in the morning of Saturday, 7th October, which has already resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives. The resulting fear, panic, and uncertainty that the Israeli and Palestinian people feel in these moments demand our compassion and understanding, even as the extent to which the conflict will escalate remains unclear.
The death toll cannot continue to rise. The signatories to this statement therefore call for immediate global attention to deescalate the conflict and provide on-the-ground humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, we call on the international community to support the immediate cessation of attacks and abductions of civilians and attacks on non-military infrastructure. The UNSC must live up to its charter-mandated responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It should urgently demand all parties to stop violence and respect and protect lives of civilians, especially children.
There is no military solution to the multifaceted and complex crisis between Israel and Palestine; we acknowledge the deep suffering of Palestinians and Israelis even under the status quo, including settler violence, terrorist attacks, economic violence, and a constant environment of fear under violation of international law. The root causes of the conflict are deep and can only be addressed when immediate and direct violence is not present.
Therefore, together we call for:
- An immediate cessation of violence–in particular the targeting of civilian infrastructure;
- The immediate exchange of hostages and prisoners under humanitarian concerns;
- The establishment of a humanitarian corridor for safe passage of emergency services and aid;
- The international community, in particular the League of Arab States, to engage in negotiations based on the Arab Peace Initiative (API), the only comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict in the Middle East