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28 January 2008
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Sixth special session
Written statement* submitted by World Vision International (WVI), a
non-governmental organization in general consultative status
The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.
[22 January 2008]
* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non-governmental organization(s).
World Vision Jerusalem is increasingly concerned by the isolation and consequential steady deterioration in the living conditions of Gaza’s civilian population. The current isolation has generated a serious crisis for the people of Gaza, particularly as a result of a rapidly deteriorating health situation and a worsening food crisis. Maintaining the current isolation and limited access drives the population into deeper poverty, increases dependency on external aid and places civilians in life-threatening situations.
World Vision Jerusalem condemns indiscriminate attacks against civilians by all parties. However, the decision to limit fuel and electricity to the general population constitutes a form of collective punishment which directly contravenes international humanitarian law.
When closures are in effect food and medical supplies run low. Preventing such supplies from entering the Gaza Strip as well as fuel cuts threatens the health needs of Palestinians as hospitals are relying on fuel to power generators. Due to these fuel cuts basic life-saving treatment is coming under increased pressure.
We call for an end to the fuel cuts and restrictions of humanitarian goods because it unduly impacts innocent civilians in Gaza.
We call for an end to the indiscriminate targeting of civilians by all parties to the conflict.
We urge all parties to return to negotiations and to resolve outstanding differences peacefully.
We urge all parties to address and prioritize the rights and safety of Palestinian and Israeli children. More than 1,000 children on both sides have already lost their lives to this conflict since 2000.
We urge the international community to take up its responsibility to urgently work for a diplomatic solution to this crisis.
World Vision has worked in Gaza since 1975. Our current development programme in Gaza benefits 47,000 people.
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