CWS Decries US Veto of Resolution Calling for Ceasefire in Gaza, Demands Immediate Action To Protect Civilians

December 13, 2023

Washington, D.C.– Church World Service today expressed its grave concern and deep disappointment over the U.S. veto of a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. The move marked a deeply troubling trend of not deescalating hostilities in the face of a humanitarian tragedy, one that would have also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of hostages and expanded humanitarian access for civilians impacted by the violence. CWS further calls for an immediate halt to the bombardment of Gaza, to end the suffering being endured by the children, women and men living there.

“The continued bombardment of Gaza and the high number of civilian casualties represents a violation of humanitarian law. We need a ceasefire now. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have died or been wounded while civilians are trapped in a war zone. They have no access to basic necessities—such as food, water, medical supplies nor shelter—essential to their survival,” said Rick Santos, President and CEO of CWS. “The United States must leverage its influence with Israel and the international community to bring about an immediate ceasefire and rapidly scale up humanitarian assistance to Gazans before the current situation grows even more dire.”

Since October 7, 2023, when Israel began its bombardment of Gaza in response to horrific attacks by Hamas, more than 18,000 Gazan Palestinians—mostly women and children—have been killed, tens of thousands injured and an unknown number remain missing who may be dead or dying in the devastation. In addition Gazans face a humanitarian catastrophe after being deprived of necessities—food, water, electricity and medical supplies—for months. Beyond the horrifying human impact of the violence, hundreds of schools and educational facilities, hospitals, mosques and churches have been heavily damaged or destroyed by Israeli bombings.

CWS calls for a ceasefire, the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and expanded humanitarian access to Gaza. The organization stresses the need for an end to the occupation of Palestine through a comprehensive, negotiated agreement that ensures the rights of Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace and security and upholds the right of Palestinians to self-determination.

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