More than 250 humanitarian or human rights organizations have joined an open letter calling for an “immediate” end to all arms transfers “to Israel and Palestinian armed groups,” they said on Thursday April 11. “We demand an immediate ceasefire and call on all States to stop the transfer of weapons that can be used to commit violations of international humanitarian law and human rights,” they plead.

“The United Nations [UN] Security Council must fulfill its responsibility to maintain world peace and security by adopting measures to stop the transfer of arms to the government of Israel and Palestinian armed groups,” the missive concludes.

This open letter was launched in January by sixteen organizations and now has more than 250 signatures such as those of Amnesty International, Save the Children, Oxfam, Médecins du Monde, Caritas International and a number of Faith-based or feminist NGOs.

“Israel’s bombing and siege are depriving the civilian population of the elements essential to their survival and rendering Gaza uninhabitable,” the organizations write, describing “a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented severity and scale.”

“Hostage-taking and indiscriminate attacks” by armed Palestinian groups “constitute violations of international humanitarian law and must stop immediately,” the letter continues, recalling the death toll from the attack carried out by Hamas on October 7, 2023. , the firing of rockets on the population of Israel and the captivity of more than 130 people, not all of them alive, in Gaza.

Israel urged to do more for humanitarian aid

The UN Security Council on Thursday took note of Israel’s promise to open more crossing points for humanitarian aid in Gaza, while calling for “more” to be done in the face of the threat of an “imminent famine.”

The war erupted on October 7 when Hamas commandos infiltrated from the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented attack in southern Israel, resulting in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to a report compiled by the Agence France-Presse based on official Israeli data.

In retaliation, Israel vowed to annihilate the Palestinian movement, which it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union. The army of the Jewish state launched an offensive which has so far left 33,545 dead in the Gaza Strip, again mostly civilians, according to the Hamas health ministry. Progress towards a truce in the Palestinian enclave has been slow despite mediation efforts.