The Human Cost in the Israel-Hamas War
October 12, 2023
WFM-Canada’s membership is deeply concerned about the escalating violence in the Israel-Hamas/Hezbollah conflict, which has resulted in significant loss of life and suffering for Palestinian and Israeli civilians, many of whom are children. We stand firmly united in defence of human rights, we condemn all acts of violence and strenuously object to the disregard for international law.
The recent actions and statements are deeply troubling. The order by Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for a complete siege of the Gaza Strip will affect millions of civilians and is a grave violation of international humanitarian law. Likewise, Hamas' massacre of civilians and taking of hostages constitute war crimes. It is imperative that all parties be reminded of the gravity of their actions and of the consequences of defying international legal standards in conflict zones. Deliberate killings of civilians, hostage-taking, and collective punishment are inexcusable crimes that demand justice.
The historical lack of accountability for crimes against civilians has contributed to the current crisis. Impunity for such acts undermines the foundations of international law and sets a dangerous precedent. We call on all parties to cooperate with investigations into war crimes, and we reiterate our support for the ongoing efforts of the International Criminal Court to address these serious violations. The February 2021 ruling that the ICC had jurisdiction over human rights abuse allegations in Palestine has brought some hope that the perpetrators will be held accountable and that the victims will one day see justice delivered in this conflict.
It is crucial to acknowledge that the civilian population in Gaza has been trapped in an untenable situation, with unresolvable obstacles to normalcy. The blockade imposed in 2007 has only exacerbated long years of suffering for the Palestinian people in the region.
As advocates for human rights and the rule of law, WFM-Canada emphasizes the need for a swift and impartial investigation into all reported crimes. We call on the international community of nation-states, including the United Nations itself to address the underlying causes of this conflict and work towards a just and lasting resolution.
We urge all parties of influence to prioritize the protection of civilian lives and to seek peaceful avenues for resolution. The continued escalation of violence only deepens the human suffering and hinders the prospects for a sustainable peace.