The humanitarian catastrophe and massive loss of life in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks has shocked the world. Today, after 46 days of devastating bombardments of Gaza, Israel approved a Qatar-mediated deal for a four-day truce. The bombings and ground invasion have internally displaced 1.7 million Palestinians (more than 80% of the Gaza population) and left all in urgent need of humanitarian aid. Approximately 13,300 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis have been killed.
A temporary cease-fire and negotiations to release hostages is a welcome and overdue step. We celebrate the cessation of violence and use of diplomacy. But four days are not enough to cover the vast humanitarian needs in Gaza. This deal does not provide a way forward towards adherence to international humanitarian law, full humanitarian access, a permanent cease-fire, or a plan for long-term solutions grounded in peace and justice.
Humanitarian workers need unrestricted and safe humanitarian access. Entry points to Gaza should be open to ensure humanitarian workers safe passage and the delivery of critically needed food, water, fuel, and medicine. A temporary cease-fire alone will not bring real peace to Palestinians and Israelis.
We need urgently an immediate, unconditional, and permanent cease-fire. A pause is not enough.