The H-PAD steering committee endorsed the following sign-on statement on October 15, 2023.
We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our urgent concern regarding dire and escalating violence in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territory, which continues to result in significant human suffering and loss of civilian life.
We condemn all violence against civilians by Hamas and the Israeli military. In this critical moment, we believe it is imperative that U.S. policymakers take measures to immediately de-escalate the violence to prevent the further loss of civilian life. We urge Congress and the Administration to:
1) Publicly call for a ceasefire to prevent the further loss of life;
2) Prioritize the protection of all civilians, including by urgently securing the entrance of humanitarian aid into Gaza and working to secure the release of hostages; and
3) Urge all parties to fully respect international humanitarian law.
We implore Congress and the Administration to abstain from rhetoric that exacerbates violence and to unequivocally condemn all violations of international law. Over the last several days, the Israeli government has cut all food, fuel, and humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip. On October 12, Israel issued an evacuation order for the entire northern Gaza Strip, telling residents to evacuate south of Wadi Gaza. This amounts to approximately 1.1 million people. The U.N. is calling for this order to be rescinded, warning it will have “devastating humanitarian consequences.”
We again urge Congress and the Administration to publicly call for, and help to facilitate, an immediate ceasefire to prevent the tragic loss of more innocent Palestinian and Israeli lives. Thank you for your urgent consideration.