Statement by Staff of the Centre for Applied Human Rights

News | Posted on Thursday 26 October 2023

As a community, we are shocked and saddened by the unfolding of events in Israel and Palestine.

The violence unleashed on the civilian population on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict defies all notions of humanity and human dignity.

As human rights scholars, we call on all parties involved in this violence to abide by the basic principles of international humanitarian law and human rights law. In particular, we emphasise that all parties to an armed conflict are bound to respect and protect civilians. We further emphasise that civilians cannot be taken hostage nor be subject to reprisals or forms of collective punishment.

At the same time, we recognise that the current escalation of violence cannot be read in isolation from the wider historical context within which it has unfolded. We firmly believe that the only way to de-escalate the conflict and break the cycle of violence is to negotiate a long-lasting peace that recognises both the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and the security of the State of Israel.