Al-Haq Sends Urgent Letters to ICRC and UNRWA to Demand Immediate Humanitarian Assistance and Establishment of Safe and Neutralized Zones for Palestinian Civilians Displaced as a Result of Israel’s Military Offensive on the Gaza Strip
On Monday, 17 May 2021, Al-Haq addressed urgent letters to the Head of Sub-Delegation - Gaza of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mr. Ignacio Casares Garcia, and Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Mr. Philippe Lazzarini, regarding the humanitarian situation of 35,000 Palestinian civilians displaced as a result of Israel’s military offensive on the Gaza Strip.
Al-Haq’s letters warned of the disastrous extent of the ever-increasing displacement of 35,000 civilians as a result of Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment, and the urgent need for immediate humanitarian response on the part of relief agencies. Al-Haq expressed its deepest concerns that Palestinian displaced civilians, currently taking shelters in UNRWA schools, are not allotted essential services, including water, food, blankets and mattresses. Al-Haq is even more worried by reports that Al-Buraq and Al-Aqsa elementary schools, established as humanitarian shelters, have been warned by Israel to be urgently evacuated prior to a forthcoming attack.
Al-Haq stressed that international humanitarian law prescribes the constitution of safe zones and neutralized zones for civilian protection in areas where conflict is taking place, where access to water, food and other essential services should be provided, and that these zones should never be military targets.
In the letters, Al-Haq called on the ICRC and UNRWA to immediately intervene and coordinate to facilitate the institution and recognition of hospital and safety zones and localities, in UNRWA premises, commensurate to the extent of humanitarian displacement, and to ensure that areas designated as safe zones and neutralized zones for civilian protection in the Gaza Strip provide satisfactory essential services to protected civilians.
Read the full letter sent to UNRWA here.
Read the full letter sent to the ICRC here.