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Israel-Hamas War: the aftermath of five months of armed conflict

Five months after the October 7th attacks, carried out by the Hamas group, the conflict between it and Israel continues to increase. This situation, following a long history of conflict between the parties, has been worsening in recent months, leading to an increase in the number of fatalities and the escalation of the humanitarian crisis that is being felt in this part of the world.

During this period, it is estimated that around 31,300 people died in the Gaza Strip at the hands of the Israeli military, in addition to the 73,000 people injured and the approximately 8,000 bodies that remained under the rubble caused by the explosions. Of the population killed, 72% were women and children – who, as we know, in these situations are the most vulnerable groups. Philippe Lazzarini, director of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), states on his account on the social network X (formerlly known as Twitter) "(...) the number of children presumably killed in just four months in Gaza is greater than the number of children killed in four years in all conflicts in the world”, declaring that this conflict is, above all, a “war against children”.

In addition to the fatalities, during this period the humanitarian aid provided by the international community has been blocked by the Israeli army, making it even more difficult for Palestinians to access basic necessities, both in terms of food and basic health care. To overcome these difficulties resulting from the Israeli siege on Palestinian territory, this month the delivery of humanitarian aid will be carried out by sea. The Spanish boat “Open Arms”, owned by the NGO Open Arms, left Larnaca (Cyprus) last Tuesday with 200 tons of humanitarian aid for Gaza on board, thus debuting the corridor opened by the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Even though the United States applied pressure to reach an agreement and a ceasefire before the start of Ramadan – the holy month of fasting for Muslims – the truth is that neither the agreement took place, nor the ceasefire, and the victims of this conflict continue to suffer serious and transparent damage to their human rights, with a clear lack of sensitivity regarding this religious issue. Although Palestinians in the West Bank have the opportunity to celebrate this season without restrictions, in Gaza the scenario is the complete opposite, with more than a thousand mosques having been destroyed. Recently, the Israeli security services imposed restrictions on those who wanted to pray at the mosque in Jerusalem, preventing the entry of many of the faithful who went there to start the festivities.

We know that there is still a long way to go to mitigate the disastrous consequences of this conflict. ComUnidade reinforces its solidarity with all victims and those forcibly displaced, and calls for the structuring of legal and safe routes. We join with all those who defend a peaceful solution to the conflict, where there is respect for what's different and, above all, for human rights.

Palestinians flee after an Israeli air strike on the Sousi mosque in Gaza. Mahmud Hams / AFP via Getty Images

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