Proposed letter from Amnesty International to the German Chancellor dated March 6, 2024

“The unprecedented escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas and other armed groups is taking a devastating toll on the civilian population. The number of civilian casualties and the extent of destruction in the occupied Gaza Strip is unprecedented. The lives of countless people are shaken, destroyed and thrown into chaos. In January 2024, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to take six interim measures to protect Palestinians in Gaza from the real threat of genocide.

Every day that passes, more people die. The humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip is becoming ever more dramatic. Sign our petition calling on all parties to call for an immediate ceasefire to end the civilian bloodshed, ensure humanitarian access to Gaza and allow the release of hostages.

Sign our petition and call on Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the German government to support an immediate ceasefire. A permanent ceasefire is needed to really put an end to the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

This is a global petition by Amnesty International addressed to heads of state and government worldwide. Residents of other countries can contact their governments here .

The content of the petition was updated on March 6, 2024 to reflect the latest developments.”

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Dear Mr. Federal Chancellor,

The continuing heavy bombardments by Israel have led to an alarming number of deaths among the Palestinian population. In the past five months, over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed and over 70,000 wounded in the Gaza Strip (as of March 6, 2024, source: Gaza Ministry of Health). Thousands of them will suffer permanent damage. The Israeli military operation is a response to the horrific attacks by Hamas and other armed groups in Israel, in which almost 1,200 people have been killed and over 240 civilians kidnapped.

Large parts of the northern Gaza Strip have been destroyed and at least 75 percent of the total population of the Gaza Strip has been internally displaced. The health system in the Gaza Strip has been largely destroyed. At least 132 hostages (as of 6.3.2024, source: Israeli army) are still being held by Hamas and other armed groups in the Gaza Strip.

The shockingly high death toll, the widespread destruction, the artificially induced hunger and malnutrition, the deliberate denial of humanitarian aid as part of an illegal blockade, the racist and dehumanizing rhetoric of Israeli government officials, and the wider context of the Israeli apartheid system are all warning signs of the real risk of impending genocide against the Palestinians in Gaza. In January 2024, the International Court of Justice found that there was a real risk of genocide and ordered Israel to take interim measures to protect the civilian population.

Meanwhile, the US has abused its veto power to prevent the UN Security Council from calling for a ceasefire that would alleviate the human suffering in Gaza, end the unlawful attacks by all parties, secure the release of hostages and allow aid organizations to bring life-saving aid, water and medical supplies to Gaza.

In the face of great devastation and suffering, humanity must prevail.

A ceasefire would end the unlawful attacks by all parties, prevent thousands more civilian deaths and finally allow aid agencies to bring essential goods, water and medical supplies into Gaza to alleviate the immense suffering and end the appalling famine. In addition, the hospitals could receive vital medicines, fuel and equipment that they urgently need and rebuild damaged wards.

A ceasefire would also provide the opportunity to negotiate the release of hostages held in Gaza and to conduct independent international investigations into war crimes committed by all parties in order to end the long-standing impunity that encourages further atrocities. It is now more urgent than ever to eliminate the causes of this conflict, including by ending the Israeli system of apartheid against the Palestinians.

I therefore call on you to work at international level to ensure that all parties to the conflict in the occupied Gaza Strip and in Israel urgently agree to an immediate ceasefire in order to prevent further civilian casualties and ensure access to life-saving aid for the people of Gaza.

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