Civilians must be protected

August 9, 2018. Gisha is greatly concerned by the escalation in hostilities in the south, impacting civilians in both Gaza and in southern Israel. Deliberate or indiscriminate fire on civilian population centers is a grave breach of international law. The massive bombardment of the Gaza Strip, even if ostensibly targeted, has led to the death and injury of civilians, caused damage to water and sewage facilities and is causing widespread fear and panic in the Strip.

Movement of goods at Kerem Shalom Crossing, the only commercial crossing between Israel and Gaza, has been heavily restricted for the past month. Restrictions on entrance of fuel have led to reduced pumping of water to homes and treatment of sewage, and reduced hospital services. The United Nations warned yesterday that hospitals and clinics, as well as water and sanitation services, will be shut down entirely in a matter of days because of lack of fuel, at a time when these services are needed most. Beyond the complex and difficult humanitarian situation, economic activity has ground to a halt and the reigning feeling in Gaza is one of hopeless and fatigue.

Civilians must be protected, whether in Gaza or in Israel. Gisha calls on all sides to refrain from actions which target civilians.