PAX welcomes the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. It is important that the escalation of violence in which more than 200 civilians, including more than 60 children, lost their lives has ended for now. Recent weeks have once again shown how important it is that warring parties fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian law. Citizens and civil infrastructure should never be targets.
It is crucial to address the root causes now to prevent violence from re-emerging and bring closer to a just, lasting peace. The immediate cause for the violence was the threat of forced displacement of 4 Palestinian families. This threat continues and is unfortunately not over with the ceasefire.
Unfortunately, the forced displacement does not stand on its own but is part of a larger picture. The recent escalation in violence is a symptom of the underlying causes. Israel has occupied Palestinian territory for decades, trying to expel the Palestinians from East Jerusalem. The Netherlands must make an active effort to tackle these root causes. Peace is only possible if the ongoing annexation, including the forced displacement in the Sheikh Jarrah district and the ever-expanding illegal settlements, stops immediately. The repression of protesters, activists and civil society must also stop.
Appeal to Minister Blok
PAX once again calls on Foreign Minister Blok to take immediate action and hold the Israeli government accountable for Israel's systematic violations of international law. In line with the adopted Karabulut c.s. motion, the Netherlands must work within the context of the EU and within the United Nations on a step-by-step plan with concrete measures that can be taken to increase pressure on the Israeli government. The Netherlands must also draw up a step-by-step plan as soon as possible with measures it can take itself and publish this plan.
What does PAX do?
PAX remains committed to addressing root causes together with Israeli and Palestinian partner organizations. PAX works together with local partner organizations on housing and residence rights in East Jerusalem. PAX and partners monitor violations and bring them to the attention of the diplomatic community. We also support affected families and civic initiatives that work for the rights of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem.