Ditshwanelo deeply alarmed

DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights is deeply alarmed by the continued escalation of violence in Gaza, which has resulted in indiscriminate killing of and immense suffering by civilians, especially women and children.

As a result, in collaboration with other civil society organisations, DITSHWANELO has organised a peaceful march with an intention to raise awareness about the bombardment, siege and the serious situation of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. On October 19, 2023, a group of UN Special Rapporteurs raised the alarm about “an ongoing campaign by Israel resulting in crimes against humanity in Gaza. Considering statements made by Israeli political leaders and their allies, accompanied by military action in Gaza and escalation of arrests and killing in the West Bank, there is also a risk of genocide against the Palestine people’’. They were “appalled by the inaction of the international community in the face of belligerent war-mongering”. The sixteen-year siege, the illegal occupation of Palestinian Territories and ongoing acts of genocide in Palestine are depriving the 2.2 million people access to medicine, food, water, fuel and electricity. These are serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law.

By November 21, the bombing of Gaza by the State of Israel had led to the deaths of 53 journalists and media workers, whilst 11 journalists were reported injured and 18 journalists were reported arrested. “At least 13, 000 Palestinians – about 5, 600 of them children and 3, 500 women – have been killed in Gaza and the West Bank since Israel launched its air and ground assault on Gaza after the October 7 attacks by Hamas targeting Israel”. According to the media reports, three major hospitals in Gaza are now out of service and there is only one hospital functioning. The bombing of Gaza by the State of Israel and the consequent loss of thousands of civilian lives, including women, children, and the elderly, is a serious violation of the most basic human rights. We firmly believe that every human being, regardless of their nationality or background, deserves the right to life, security, and dignity. We remain concerned that if this crime against humanity continues, more lives will be lost. Human rights, especially socio-economic rights, will also continue to be violated. These violations of socio-economic rights are a result of bombardments, the blockade, the forced displacement and the cutting off of water, food, medicine and energy supplies.

These actions constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity in international law. Palestinian people are entitled to their right to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine. We join the international civil society, which is calling for an immediate ending of the conflict, in urging an immediate end to the hostilities and a renewed commitment to finding a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and all those affected by this tragic situation. We call for an immediate de-escalation of the fighting to prevent further loss of life and suffering. We also call upon the international community to support our calls for a just peace in Palestine, and to act to support this goal. The core issue of the illegal occupation of Palestine by the State of Israel has to be acknowledged and addressed with political honesty.


For more information please contact: DITSHWANELO – The Botswana Centre for Human Rights. Tel: +267 3906998, Cell: +267 73705946, Email: [email protected] / [email protected]

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