We are deeply concerned – peace in the Middle East now!

13. Dezember 2023

For more than two months, the Middle East conflict between Israel and Palestine has been raging again with terrible consequences for all people living there. After October 7, FIR and its member associations clearly condemned Hamas’ criminal massacre of civilians on the border with the Gaza Strip and the visitors to the music festival. The abduction of civilians as hostages is also a crime. For us, there is no doubt about the right of the Israeli state to its territorial integrity.
In view of the military escalation and the consequences for the civilian population in Gaza, we have been calling for a ceasefire and the start of negotiations from the outset. This appeal, which was made by politicians from all over the world, was not heard.
The consequences are devastating for the people in the region. The United Nations is already talking about over 15,000 people killed and tens of thousands injured who are no longer receiving medical care due to the bombing of clinics by the Israeli army’s ongoing operation in the Gaza Strip. Blockade measures are massively restricting the supply of food, energy and other essential goods to the population in Gaza. We are also receiving information about increasing acts of violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, which have already claimed the lives of several hundred people.

It was a positive sign that negotiators from Qatar succeeded in releasing some of the hostages in several stages in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned in Israel. However, this act of humanity is currently stalling because one side of the negotiations is showing clear reservations about these exchanges.
We are concerned that the balanced resolution of the United Nations Security Council in favor of an immediate ceasefire to protect the civilian population was prevented by the US veto. We cannot accept when the peace-brokering role of the United Nations and its Secretary-General in this conflict is denounced as “unilateral support”.
Only negotiations can provide the basis for an end to the fighting and a peace solution. We are disappointed when the Israeli Prime Minister publicly declares that the Oslo peace agreement with the Palestinians in the 1990s was “an original sin”.
We appeal to all states that have influence over the two warring parties to work towards a ceasefire and the start of negotiations. This is the only way to save the abducted Israeli hostages and prevent further casualties among the Palestinian civilian population.
This war must end immediately!