‘A violence no child should ever face’: WV calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

MEDIA STATEMENT | For immediate release

May 18, 2021: In the past fortnight, airstrikes on Gaza have killed 212 people, including 61 children and 36 women, while rockets fired from Gaza have killed at least 10 people in Israel, including two children. The conflict has also displaced around 40,000 and injured hundreds. This latest chapter in this long conflict has again placed tens of thousands of children in the midst of a violence that no child should ever experience.

World Vision Australia (WVA) recognises the issues behind the conflict are complex without easy solutions. Yet violence and oppression – whether through indiscriminate rockets, stone-throwing, racism, evictions, demolitions, riots, the disproportionate use of force and violations of international law – are not the answer.

WVA categorically rejects violence and injustice, especially actions that threaten the lives of children and their wellbeing, both physically and psychologically. The violence and injustice contribute to and compound already heartbreaking and difficult problems that already threaten the lives of children growing up in conflict zones with poor services and little protection.

Consequently, WVA calls for an immediate and sustained ceasefire agreement through diplomatic efforts by the United Nations Security Council. Additionally, it is calling for sustained, safe and unhindered access for national and international humanitarian agencies to provide increased and sustained humanitarian and development support.

This support is to address both the current crisis and significant pre-existing needs, particularly food, water, sanitation, hygiene, healthcare (including mental health support) and medicines, COVID-19 prevention and response including vaccine access, child protection and gender supports and services. An estimated 5.3 per cent of Gaza’s two million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the World Health Organisation.

There must also be greater accountability mechanisms and processes for human rights violations, including grave violations of children rights, specifically, the killing and maiming of children, denial of humanitarian access for children, attacks on schools and hospitals and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian structures.

In the longer term, WVA is pushing for sustained diplomatic efforts to address the underlying drivers of the violence and unrest in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and Israel.

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