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DRC and REFORM: Statement on escalation of violence in Rafah, Gaza

Increased Israeli airstrikes on Rafah, Gaza, are causing civilian casualties and displacements. Israel, as the occupying power, has closed the Rafah crossing, blocking vital aid and worsening a humanitarian crisis. The international community is urged to pressure Israel for a ceasefire, reopen the crossing for aid, and halt arms transfers due to potential humanitarian law violations.

Posted on 08 May 2024

Increasing Israeli airstrikes on Rafah, in the Gaza strip, are killing and injuring civilians, and forcing many families to displace yet again as a result of the further violence. The international community must increase its pressure on Israel to stop the offensive on Rafah, a heavily populated area to which hundreds-of-thousands of families have already fled, and to agree to an immediate ceasefire.

Israel is the occupying power in Gaza, and its decision to close the Rafah crossing point has cut off critical aid assistance to civilians in Gaza. This is contrary to the duty of Israel as an occupying power to ensure aid and essential services are provided to the people of Gaza.

The crossing is critical for bringing aid and supplies into Gaza, but the amount of aid entering has been falling significantly short of the level required with parts of Gaza verging on famine and inflation driving up the cost of the few basic food items still available on the market.

The closure of the crossing contravenes the outcomes of the International Court of Justice’s ruling and Israel should re-open the crossing with no delay, while more still needs be done to increase aid flows into Gaza and protect civilians.

States should halt arms transfers to Israel, as the risk of them being used to commit international humanitarian law violations remains significant.

Editor's Note

This statement is a joint effort between the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and Reform, a Palestinian association for empowerment and local development.

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