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Major aid groups call for Gaza ceasefire

By AFP

November 8, 2023 09:45 PM


 

An alliance of 13 major aid groups including Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Amnesty International and Oxfam has urged world leaders to push for a ceasefire in Gaza after one month of war between Israel and Hamas.

The organisations "call on French President Emmanuel Macron and heads of state... to do everything in their power to obtain an immediate ceasefire," they said in a statement, one day before a humanitarian conference on the Gaza Strip is due to be held in Paris.

Other priorities should include "concrete measures to free civilian hostages and protect all civilian populations, guaranteeing entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza and respecting international humanitarian law," the groups said.

As well as MSF, Amnesty and Oxfam, the signatories also include Action Against Hunger, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the International Federation for Human Rights.

"We are getting increasingly desperate appeals for protection and aid from our humanitarian workers inside the locked-down Gaza Strip," NRC chief Jan Egeland said in the statement.

"It is unacceptable that there is still no humanitarian ceasefire, no humanitarian corridor and no end to the suffocating siege" of the enclave, he added.

Thursday's humanitarian conference has been hastily put together on the margins of the annual Paris Peace Forum.

It will aim to "mobilise all partners and stakeholders to respond to the needs" of Gazans, a Macron adviser told reporters Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

Macron's office also said that no Israeli representative will attend, although he will inform Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the results.

Israel's siege and bombardment of Gaza began from October 7, when Hamas fighters massacred at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and took 240 hostages.

The territory's Hamas-controlled health ministry says almost 10,600 people, including more than 4,000 children, have been killed in the Israeli offensive.

G7 foreign ministers meeting in Japan on Wednesday called for "humanitarian pauses and corridors" to protect civilians, but stopped short of calling for a ceasefire.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday there would be no fuel delivered to Gaza and no ceasefire unless the hostages were freed.


AFP


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