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Over 1,400 Israel academics call for ending Gaza war

May 21, 2024 at 4:37 pm

Israeli citizens march to the Knesset demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government and early elections in western Jerusalem on May 20, 2024 [Saeed Qaq – Anadolu Agency]

More than 1,400 Israeli academics have signed a petition calling on the government to end its deadly war on the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We, faculty and administrative staff at academic institutions in Israel, call on the Israeli government to end the war in Gaza without delay and ensure the immediate return of the hostages,” reads the petition, written in Hebrew and English.

The petition, titled “A Call on the Israeli Government to End the War and Ensure the Return of the Hostages”, said returning Israeli captives held by Hamas and ending the war “are moral imperatives and align with Israeli interests”.

The signatories said the 7 October Hamas attack granted Israel “the right of self-defence against such acts within the limits of international law.”

“However, this initial purpose has been exhausted, partly because the government has deliberately avoided setting a strategic or political vision beyond the war, instead aiming for an undefined ‘complete victory’ which, even according to senior military officials, is not only unachievable but likely to result in the death of the hostages.”

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The petition warned that the Israeli war is “causing tremendous harm to civilians in Gaza, starvation, and unprecedented destruction of infrastructure.”

“It leads to many Israeli casualties, mental harm to hundreds of thousands, enormous economic damage and a severe deterioration of the rule of law in Israel and the Occupied Territories,” it added.

“It also prevents the stabilisation of the situation in the north of the country and the return of displaced populations,” the petition said.

“Additionally, it severely damages Israel’s international standing, leads to international isolation, legal entanglements, cultural and academic boycotts, and long-term damage in many other aspects. Moreover, it gravely undermines Israel’s ability to fulfil its supreme duty of returning the hostages.”

The academics said self-defence “does not grant the right to wage an endless war or one aimed at the political survival of the leadership.”

“Therefore, we call on the government to act for the return of the hostages and to end the war without delay.”

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in the enclave.

More than 35,600 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and nearly 79,900 others injured since last October following an attack by the Palestinian group, Hamas.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which, in January, issued an interim ruling that ordered it to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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