Gaza ceasefire: MAP calls for action to address root causes of violence

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) welcomes the ceasefire which has brought an end to nearly three days of Israel’s attacks on Gaza. But only by addressing the root causes of this latest violence will any sense of ‘normality’ or ‘hope’ be achieved for Palestinians.

A ceasefire between Israel and Islamic Jihad came into effect at 23.30 local time. This comes after three days of constant airstrikes by Israel, which killed 44 Palestinians, including 15 children and four women, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza. 360 Palestinian civilians were also injured.

The psychological toll of this latest assault is immense, particularly for a population already traumatised by repeated military offensives and 15 years of illegal closure, blockade and collective punishment.

“Terrible things have happened over the last three days. We are through this, but we are not the same,” said Fikr Shalltoot, MAP’s Gaza Director. “Until the root causes of these attacks are addressed, including an end to the illegal closure and blockade, we will continue to suffer from Israel’s violence.”

Humanitarian needs remain desperately high and the health sector is facing an imminent catastrophe, after all crossings into Gaza were closed for almost a week. Today, 8 August, Israel said it was partially reopening crossings for humanitarian relief. But all crossings must be immediately and fully opened, as part of a comprehensive lifting of the blockade.

Israel’s attacks on Gaza were once again characterised by widespread damage and destruction to civilian homes. The MoH also reported damage to the Al-Yemen Al-Saeed Hospital and to an ambulance in the Qaizan Al-Najjar neighbourhood of Khan Yunis.

“How can any human being understand or accept what is happening to us in Gaza? We are feeling the pain in every cell in our body. We will not and we are not getting used to this destruction.”

The more than 2.1 million population of Gaza have barely recovered from Israel’s 11-day offensive in May 2021, which had already pushed Gaza’s healthcare system – and exhausted health workers and humanitarians – to the brink.

“I woke up this morning with the lingering scent of death and agony in my heart. How can any human being understand or accept what is happening to us in Gaza? We are feeling the pain in every cell in our body. We will not and we are not getting used to this destruction,” said Amal Zaqout, MAP’s Community Programme Officer in Gaza. “We have not recovered from the last assault. How can we handle another one? The weight of devastation is as heavy as the mountains and the extent of the sky.”

MAP is responding to the ongoing humanitarian needs by releasing prepositioned medicines, lab reagents and disposables, and procuring lifesaving items that are currently at zero stock, meaning they have less than one month’s supply left.

The international community, including the UK Government, must take immediate action to address the widespread and systematic human rights abuses and discriminatory policies against Palestinians that lie at the root cause of these attacks, including the illegal closure and blockade; the excessive use of force against Palestinians across the occupied Palestinian territory; attempts to forcibly expel Palestinians from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem; and the continued expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

With chronic shortages of drugs and healthcare resources, MAP is providing vital support to health services in Gaza as part of our emergency response. Please support these efforts by donating today.


Photo: Palestinians inspect damage caused by an Israeli airstrike on a building in Sheikh Acleyn neighbourhood in Gaza. (Credit: Mohammed Zaanoun).

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