Tuesday, August 5, 2014

AMSA PHILIPPINES' STATEMENT ON GAZA SITUATION

AMSA Philippines stands united with all the innocent victims of aggression and violence in Gaza. We call for all parties involved to immediately end the violence and to address the root causes of the conflict. 

 We strongly condemn the disproportionate ruthless military “defense” by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) towards the people of Gaza. For the past 24 days of IDF’s indiscriminate air and land attacks, there were more than 1,300 Palestinians who were killed—almost 900 of those were civilians. Of whom, 252 were children and 181 were women [1]. 

 We are also appalled by the economic and political isolation imposed by the Israeli government [2]. This blockade causes significant predicament on Gaza, especially on the food, water, health and other public sectors. 

 Such hostilities and restrictions have led to unimaginable outcome on the healthcare system of Gaza. Services in hospitals and health facilities are often insufficient because of the depleting supplies of basic necessities and are frequently interrupted because of the severely limited supply of electricity [3]. More than 100 schools, which included 87 United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools, have been damaged by the violence, some of which served as emergency shelters [2]. Insufficient supply of food, water and energy imposed serious effects on Gaza’s public health. More than half of Gaza’s households lack food supply. Water supply is only available to more than 30% of households for six to eight hours every four days. Untreated sewage due to energy crisis flows directly to and pollutes the Mediterranean Sea [3]. 

With these, AMSA Philippines: 

Calls upon the Israel Defense Forces to stop its aggression and assault on Palestinian territories; 

Calls upon the Israeli government, Hamas and the Palestinian National Authority to end all forms of violence and violations of human rights and humanitarian law, and agree on a longer-term ceasefire to protect the lives, rights and health of civilians of both parties; 

Further calls upon them to address the conflict and reconcile “without arms and harm;” 

Calls upon the United Nations to immediately compel a complete arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and other militant groups; 

Commends the Philippine government, and 28 other UN member states, for supporting United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on establishing an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; 

Urges everyone to pray for the defenseless civilians in Gaza who have to endure the aggression by the Israeli military, and for the people of Gaza and Israel that they may live in safety, dignity and peace. 


References: 
 [1]. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Occupied Palestinian Territory: Gaza emergency situation report (as of 31 July 2014, 1500 hrs). Retrieved from http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_sitrep_01_08_2014.pdf 

 [2] United Nations Human Rights Council. Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories: Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. Retrieved from http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/12session/A-HRC-12-48.pdf 

[3] Gilbert, M. Brief Report to UNWRA: The Gaza Health Sector as of June 2014. http://www.unrwa.org/sites/default/files/final_report_-_gaza_health_sector_june-july_2014_-_mads_gilbert_2.pd

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