Creating new perspectives since 2009

UN ceasefire resolution is ‘long overdue’, needs to relieve suffering in Gaza: Amnesty

March 28, 2024 at 10:29 am

Crowd of starving Palestinians, including children, wait to receive food distributed by charity organizations amid Israel’s blockade as the situation dramatically deteriorates in Jabalia refugee camp, Gaza on March 27, 2024. [Mahmoud Issa – Anadolu Agency]

To alleviate the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and ensure a lasting ceasefire, implementation of the UN Security Council’s “overdue resolution” is critical, Amnesty International said on Monday.

“This resolution is long overdue, but in order to truly relieve the toll on civilians and address the mass devastation and suffering in Gaza, it is vital that it is implemented immediately and leads to an enduring ceasefire,” said Agnes Callamard, the group’s secretary general, in a statement.

Stressing that “there’s not a moment to waste,” Callamard urged Israel to stop its “brutal bombing campaign in Gaza” and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.

“Israel and Hamas and other armed groups must also work to ensure that the ceasefire is durable,” she added, urging for the release of all hostages and “all Palestinians arbitrarily held in Israeli prisons, civilians from Gaza.”

“Palestinians in Gaza are at risk of genocide, more than 32,000 people have been killed, children have been starved to death amid an imminent Israeli-engineered famine and vast swathes of the Strip have been rendered uninhabitable due to Israel’s brutal bombing campaign,” she added.

A political pressure shift is now needed, she explained, including an immediate, complete arms embargo to ensure a lasting ceasefire to transform Gaza’s dire conditions.

She called on the global community to set aside political manoeuvres and prioritise saving lives by ensuring this resolution establishes a lasting ceasefire.

READ: UNICEF: Ceasefire in Gaza must be ‘substantive’ to end ‘darkest chapters’ of humanity

“For its part, the USA, which prior to this had vetoed three resolutions demanding an immediate ceasefire, should suspend arms transfers to Israel and use its status as Israel’s key ally to get Israel to agree to a sustained ceasefire and allow unfettered access for humanitarian aid to Gaza,” she concluded.

On Tuesday evening, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, Francesca Albanese, said in a report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva that there “there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating the commission of the crime of genocide…has been met”.

“Specifically, Israel has committed three acts of genocide with the requisite intent, causing seriously serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, and imposing measures intended to prevent birth within the group,” she said.

Furthermore, “the genocide in Gaza is the most extreme stage of a long-standing settler colonial process of erasure of the native Palestinians,” she continued.

Since the UN Security Council vote for a ceasefire for the rest of Ramadan, Israel has intensified its bombing campaign in Gaza, including in the southernmost city of Rafah where 1.5 million Palestinians are currently taking refuge, according to Al Jazeera. 

READ: Israel executed 13 children in Gaza in front of their families, says human rights NGO