Urgent call for rapid and decisive action for the immediate release of hostages in the Gaza Strip

On Saturday morning, October 7, Palestinian terrorists led by Hamas invaded the sovereign territory of Israel and launched a heinous attack by land, air, and sea, targeting more than 20 towns and villages. The terrorist attack intentionally targeted Israel’s civilian population. Amidst a barrage of indiscriminate rocket attacks directed at cities throughout southern and central Israel, Hamas armed operatives and other terrorists conducted a brutal murderous rampage of horrific acts reminiscent of the barbarous events of the Holocaust.

Hamas led terrorists also abducted hundreds of hostages – including elderly people, children, and infants ranging in age from a few months to over 80 years – their fate remains unknown. These heinous acts blatantly defy the most basic principles of morality and humanity. They constitute grave violations of international law amounting to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

In this time of grave crisis, as the lives and well-being of the hostages are in acute danger, the IJL, in collaboration with the Coordinating Committee for the Families of the Abducted calls for immediate action, through any available means, for: (1) the immediate provision of information on the fate of all men, women and children kidnapped from Israel; (2) the receipt of guarantees for their safety and humane treatment; and (3) their immediate return. The letter was sent to UN Secretary-General, The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the President of the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies, the ICRC presidency, and states.


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