On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People a call for ceasefire was projected in Brussels
All children are equally deserving of the right to live a life free from violence and armed conflicts
Joint Press Release
This visual statement, projected in Europe’s capital, underscores the critical need for a permanent ceasefire to end the suffering in Gaza where, in 54 days alone, more than 14 800 Palestinians (70% of them women and children) have been reported killed and more than 36,000 injured amid intensifying hostilities.
The powerful message aims to stir the European Union, EU countries, including Belgium, and leaders worldwide to leverage their diplomatic influence to press for an urgent permanent ceasefire along with safe unfettered access for humanitarian assistance as a reinstatement to the ongoing humanitarian pause. This will allow desperately needed aid in to support the 2.3 million people trapped in Gaza. It also calls for people worldwide to sign the change.org petition demanding a ceasefire. Over a million people have done so already.
In light of this poignant moment, Ana Alcalde, ActionAid Internationa Director for Europe and Americas, expressed that “ActionAid supports the message for a permanent ceasefire. Without this, families in Gaza will continue losing their loved ones in daily bombings, being forced out of their homes with nowhere to go and living in dire conditions without basic needs. A humanitarian pause only provides short-term relief and then the horror continues. Worse still, winter has come and families are out in the cold without warm clothes or shelter. The EU should use its political power to mobilize countries into calling for a permanent ceasefire.”
Willy Bergogné, Save the Children Europe Director, expressed the organisation’s support for the message: “How many lives have to be lost - from children, civilians, humanitarian staff - before the international community steps up and fulfils its legal, diplomatic and moral obligations to keep civilians safe from the clutches of conflict? The international community must stop standing by while children’s rights continue to be egregiously violated. The cost of inaction is the destruction of children’s lives and robbing them of their futures.”
Eva Smets, Oxfam Belgium Director also expressed Oxfam’s support for this call to action: “No humanitarian pause can be long enough; no corridor can be wide enough to help relieve the suffering of so many people. Therefore, a pause is not enough, we demand an immediate and total ceasefire.”
Sabine Saliba, Eurochild’s Secretary General has backed this action on behalf of the organisation: “Eurochild supports the call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. We also strongly urge European decision-makers to urgently call for a ceasefire and stand against the killing of civilians. We must remind all parties that every child, regardless of their background, must be shielded from the horrors of war. All children are equally deserving of the right to live a life free from violence and armed conflicts.”
Edouard Rodier, Norwegian Refugee Council EU Director: “The spectre of winter is looming in Gaza, where hostilities have already displaced 80 percent of the population. People have lost their homes, their livelihoods and their family members. Children are traumatised, with many facing a future without their parents or siblings. The urgent and long-term help required to avert a deepening of this humanitarian catastrophe can only happen through a sustained ceasefire. Continuing this warfare will have devastating consequences for thousands of innocent civilians and is utter madness.”
As the message calling for a ceasefire lights up the night sky, it serves as a reminder that action is not just necessary, it is imperative. The two-day truce extension brings relief to Gaza, but a few more days without fighting is not enough for families to get what they need to survive. After enduring 54 days of relentless bombardment, people in Gaza are left with nothing, surrounded by destruction. People, especially women and children face hunger, thirst, and disease. Only a permanent ceasefire can provide necessary aid and prevent further escalation. People in Gaza deserve the right to safety and life.
The international community, led by bodies like the European Union and the UN, must mobilise to bring about peace and provide urgent humanitarian assistance to Gaza and spearhead the call for a permanent ceasefire.