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10.05.2024 | Press Release

NGOs react to Israeli offensive in Rafah

6 humanitarian organizations, including Welthungerhilfe, sign declaration to the German government

Berlin, 8 May 2024 – In light of the Israeli offensive in Rafah, six humanitarian organisations are calling on the German government to use all available means to end the ongoing tragedy in Gaza. Up to 1.4 million civilians in Rafah are in imminent danger and have no other place of refuge. Fighting in such a densely populated area and preventing humanitarian aid is unforgivable given the obligations of all parties under international law. Dozens of civilians have already been killed in the first airstrikes in Rafah.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has already reached catastrophic proportions: more than 33,000 dead, over 78,000 injured and 1.7 million people displaced. This is the tragic result after seven months of war. The population is not only suffering from bombing, but also from a now chronic lack of food and clean water - and the associated increase and spread of diseases and infections. The healthcare system in Gaza collapsed months ago.

In view of this highly alarming situation, six humanitarian aid organizations are urging the German government under Chancellor Scholz to use all available means to achieve the following:

  1. Immediate cessation of hostilities by all parties to the conflict. 
  2. Implementation of an immediate and permanent ceasefire to protect Palestinians and hostages from further harm. 
  3. Immediate release of all hostages; more than 130 people have been held by Hamas for more than seven months.  
  4. Reopening and full utilisation of all border crossings to enable the scale up of humanitarian aid. Israel is responsible for ensuring the supply of food and medical supplies to the occupied population. 
  5. Halt all arms deliveries to Israel given there is a risk that these weapons could be used to violate international humanitarian law.
  6. Use all diplomatic means to find a political solution. Further, the international community must demand that all parties comply with international humanitarian law. 
  7. Lift the siege. Israel must restore essential services in Gaza, including cross-border water supply pipelines and electricity, as well as re-establish fuel and commercial goods traffic to pre-October levels.
  8. Aid workers must be protected and allowed unfettered access into and within Gaza to ensure all those in need receive assistance wherever they may be.

The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is man-made and preventable. The words of warning of recent weeks must now be followed with action. It is unacceptable that our politicians are not following up words with action. Inaction is no longer an option.

Signatory organizations in Germany:

Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organizations in Germany and has no political or religious affiliations. It is fighting for “Zero Hunger by 2030.” Since its inception, it has provided funding of EUR 4.75 billion for more than 11,498 overseas projects in 72 countries. Welthungerhilfe follows the principle of supporting people in realizing their rights and sustainably improving their living conditions, which it implements with measures ranging from rapid disaster relief to rehabilitation to long-term development cooperation projects with national and international partner organizations.


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