Shane Stevenson, Oxfam Country Director for the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, said:
“Finally, for the first of 12 consecutive nights, two million Palestinians in Gaza, including hundreds of thousands of traumatised children, can rest rather than lie awake in fear as bombs fly over their homes. And civilians across Israel will be spared the threat of rocket attacks.
“But this is not a solution. This ceasefire will not change the occupation and denial of human rights which Palestinians are subjected to daily. This inhumane and brutal status quo has to stop, once and for all. Oxfam calls on the parties to strictly observe this ceasefire, and for the international community to hold Israel and armed factions in Gaza accountable for any and all violations committed during and preceding this escalation of violence. There must be a just and sustainable peace for all Israelis and Palestinians. Alleged war crimes committed in each round of violence must be investigated and prosecuted.
“This must be the last time Palestinians in Gaza are forced to again undertake the slow and painful process of rebuilding their destroyed homes, lives and livelihoods. Humanitarian aid that has been denied from entering Gaza until now must be allowed to enter immediately so that Oxfam and other aid organisations can understand the sheer scale of the needs and reach people who desperately need support to survive. Humanitarian agencies like Oxfam have been supported by international governments and donors to work with Palestinians to rebuild after each round of violence, only to watch the results of these collective efforts destroyed time and again.
“The cycle of war followed by pledges of humanitarian aid can only be broken with concrete and meaningful political action by the international community to bring an end to the brutal, prolonged occupation, including a suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip.”
For interviews, contact Lily Partland on 0418 118 687 / firstname.lastname@example.org