14 May 2021 – CARE International strongly condemns and stands against the egregious violations of human rights and dignity of people in Palestine and Israel and urges the parties to the conflict to immediately stop all violence. We further urge the international community to engage both Israeli and Palestinian leadership to bring an end to the fighting and to demand the Israeli government cease all forced removals, which threaten the very existence of the Palestinian people in East Jerusalem. The policy of forced removals forces them into homelessness and loss of their livelihoods, leading to destitution for whole families and communities.
The Gaza Strip hosts 2.2 million people and has very limited infrastructure. Travel routes are controlled by Egypt and Israel, making escaping practically impossible. As a result of the ongoing military air strikes, at least 122 people have been killed, among them are 31 children and 20 women, and no less than 900 have been injured. On the Israeli side, six people have been killed and around 200 hospitalized. Tensions and communal violence across the entire country are mounting, and the already grave humanitarian situation in Gaza is rapidly worsening.
Violence in part exacerbated by the most recent threats of imminent and forced removal of families residing in the east Jerusalem neighborhood, Sheikh Jarrah, is rapidly escalating. Forced removal of Palestinians, home demolitions, and the ongoing confiscation of Palestinian properties, have put 970 people, including 424 children, at risk of displacement, and de-facto expulsion from the city. De jure annexation and settler violence are in contravention of the provisions of International Humanitarian Law that obligate Israel, as an Occupying Power, to ensure the rights and protection of Palestinians residing in the occupied Palestinian territories. It is also in violation of Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits an Occupying Power from transferring parts of its civilian population to the occupied territory.
In order to respond to the ongoing and urgent needs resulting from the escalating violence, CARE International calls for the immediate, safe and unfettered movement of humanitarian and medical personnel to conduct rapid life-saving interventions. Access is critical to support people in need of humanitarian assistance and medical support, as Gaza’s overburdened health sector is struggling to meet urgent needs.
It is crucial that the international community intervenes immediately to end the violence and address the root cause of the problem. Israel should uphold its legal obligations towards Palestinians and comply with International Law. We call on the international community to ensure the State of Israel ends its deeply entrenched and systemic discriminatory policies against Palestinians, a reality on the ground that has gone unchecked for decades.
CARE has worked in Palestine and Israel since 1948 to provide humanitarian relief and promote values of social justice and gender equality. CARE stands with all people affected by violence, discrimination and conflict.