CWS Calls for Immediate Creation of Humanitarian Corridors in Gaza, Ceasefire to Protect the Innocent
Washington, D.C., Oct. 18, 2023–Church World Service today called for an immediate ceasefire and the end of the blockade on Gaza to ensure urgent access to humanitarian supplies including food, medicine, and fuel in Gaza as violence continues to escalate during the conflict between Hamas and the State of Israel. The call comes after a week of increasing bloodshed that has led to the death of thousands of civilians, including children, and yesterday’s horrifying devastation of Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City. Today’s call by CWS echoes that of the United Nations, whose World Food Programme launched a critical food assistance effort in recent days to provide much-needed supplies to 800,000 people in Gaza and the West Bank.
“Creating humanitarian corridors to aid the civilians suffering under this conflict is the very bare minimum of decency and morality. As water becomes scarce, supplies dwindle and hope dims, it is the duty of the entire international community to demand in no uncertain terms that civilians be protected,” said Rick Santos, President and CEO of Church World Service. “There is no victory when children starve and no lasting peace when families are eradicated by the callousness of war. We hope and pray for lasting peace and justice, and for a swift end to this violence. But first of all we must embrace our shared humanity by creating humanitarian corridors so the families and children trapped in this warzone have a chance to survive.”
CWS continues to condemn all attacks on civilians by Hamas and the State of Israel, and renews its call for the safe release of all hostages taken by Hamas.
Recent reports estimate that over 2.2 million people are trapped in Gaza, as the State of Israel has cut off water, electricity, and humanitarian aid and continues to launch major military attacks in areas populated by civilians. These are 2.2 million sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, family members, and loved ones. It is vital that the humanity, dignity, and basic needs of these innocent civilians are of utmost priority. Violence begets more violence, and will only exacerbate the devastation, grief, and loss of life that has already been experienced.
Last week, CWS called for an end to violence and the protection of vulnerable families, noting its partnership with Churches for Middle East Peace and the combined efforts to achieve lasting peace.