Responding to the Israeli government’s order for northern Gaza to evacuate, Amitabh Behar, Oxfam International Executive Director said:
“The world can see that this evacuation order is both utterly inhumane and impossible; the Israeli government must rescind it immediately. We implore the international community to use its utmost influence to intervene – there are hospitals full of patients, women, children and elderly people who cannot move. Even for those who could move, there is no food, no water, and little shelter. This must be stopped.
“Oxfam staff are sending us terrifying messages; they are sheltering in their homes or displaced with their extended families, some trying to find safety in hospitals that have already been damaged by airstrikes. They are in darkness, pleading to know what is happening. One last message received told us ‘Please pray for us, and forgive us if we don't end up making it through this tough time.’
“It is incumbent upon Israel to obey international humanitarian law; they must distinguish between military and civilian targets. We call on it to immediately recall this order and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.”
Notes to editors
- Before last weekend, the UN and humanitarian partners estimated that 2.1 million Palestinians across the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) - including 80% of the population in Gaza - depended on humanitarian assistance.
- Oxfam has been working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel since the 1950s and established a country office in the 1980s. We work with the most vulnerable communities in Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Area C, the 61 percent of the West Bank where the government of Israel maintains full military and civil control.
- In Gaza, Oxfam works with Palestinian women, men, and youth to improve their livelihoods and increase economic opportunities, combat gender-based violence and inequality and ensure access to basic needs and fundamental rights through our humanitarian work.