The Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) has expressed concern over the escalating violence in Gaza that has claimed the lives of more than 200 Palestinians since the beginning of the year.
In a statement issued on Jan. 4, the faith-based group renewed its calls for an immediate ceasefire and respect for international humanitarian law.
“Hamas’ October 7, 2023 attack on Israel and the continuous and indiscriminate bombing of Gaza by Israeli forces cannot be justified both legally and morally given the magnitude of the loss of lives and destruction of property, culture, and environment,” the statement read.
Since Oct. 7, at least 22,313 people have been killed and at least 57,296 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza while some 1,139 Israelis died.
PMPI expressed dismay over Israel’s restrictions on water pipelines and electricity in Gaza, leading to severe health and sanitation problems.
The United Nations reported that children in the Southern Gaza Strip are accessing only 1.5 to 2 liters of water daily, well below the minimum of 3 liters needed for survival.
It added that the ongoing hostilities have left half of Gaza facing starvation, with heightened risks of diseases.
PMPI condemned the blockage of humanitarian support and supplies, emphasizing the urgent need for a ceasefire to facilitate the delivery of much-needed relief to the affected population.
Despite a United Nations Security Council resolution on December 22, 2023, aimed at boosting humanitarian aid to Gaza, difficulties persist in providing essential assistance.
PMPI highlighted an incident on December 29, 2023, when an aid convoy, traveling in a designated safe route, was attacked by the Israeli army.
“This attack shows that humanitarian aid can be delayed and inadequate if hostilities continue. We urge for an immediate ceasefire on humanitarian and human rights grounds,” the group said.
“We support the call of the international community to work towards ending this destruction and protecting the civilians in Gaza and Israel from violence and war crimes,” it added.
The group urged the Philippine government “to continue registering a voice in favor of peace”.