Israel/OPT: Terre des hommes urges protection of civilians

In the last two days, hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis have been reported killed with thousands more injured. Terre des hommes, the leading Swiss children’s rights organisation, which has been present on site for 50 years, calls on all parties involved in the conflict to ensure the protection of the civilian population and civilian objects.

Once again, it is children, women and men paying the price of the deadly hostilities. Thousands of families have fled the bombardment and destruction of their homes and are sheltering in schools and other facilities. Terre des hommes (Tdh) is highly concerned about the intensification of armed violence.

“We call all parties to the conflict to respect the International humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions. Civilians and civilian objects must be respected and protected at all times. Buildings used by civilians, such as schools, hospitals and emergency shelters, must not become targets under any circumstances,” says Barbara Hintermann, Director General of Tdh.

Tdh fears that this armed conflict situation will have worse consequences than we saw in May 2021 resulting in a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

“We strongly urge the international community to use its diplomatic channels to call for an immediate ceasefire and to open safe humanitarian corridors to Gaza as well as to provide relief assistance. Safe and dignified humanitarian corridors should also be made available for civilians fleeing the conflict,” says Barbara Hintermann.

Tdh has been active in Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) for 50 years. Over the years, the organisation reached more than 400,000 people, including children and members of their communities, through its services in the areas of migration and protection, access to justice and humanitarian aid in Gaza and West Bank.