Mercy Corps Statement on Escalating Violence in West Bank, Gaza, and Israel
Uma Kandalaeva, Palestine Director for Mercy Corps, says:
“As violence escalates in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, we are deeply concerned for the innocent civilians already caught in the crossfire, with reports of civilian casualties. An immediate de-escalation of hostilities is essential to prevent the spiraling of violence and the deepening of an already alarming humanitarian crisis. We are particularly concerned by reports that the only power plant in Gaza has run out of fuel, worsening a power crisis in the midst of summer heat. Already 70% of the population in Gaza relies on humanitarian aid for survival, with few options for earning a living and no way to leave. Economic setbacks from COVID-19 and the impact of the war in Ukraine on supply chains and food prices have only made life more difficult.
“We urge all parties to the conflict to halt this senseless violence and honor their international obligations, and protect civilians as mandated under international humanitarian law.
“We believe that all civilians have the right - and deserve - to live safely and in dignity. With access to Gaza tightened this week amidst the escalating violence, it remains essential to allow unfettered humanitarian access, which is critical to delivering aid so many rely on for survival.”
Mercy Corps has worked in the West Bank and Gaza since 1986, updating water systems to reduce the spread of disease, distributing emergency food and supplies to families displaced by crisis, providing psychosocial support for young people, and expanding employment opportunities.