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CARICOM calls for ceasefire in Gaza

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Palestinians search for casualties at the site of Israeli strikes on houses in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, October 31, 2023. Credit: Anas al-Shareef | Reuters

Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), President Dr. Irfaan Ali on Wednesday evening made a resounding call for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza.

The Chair was at the time speaking at the closing press conference of the 46th Regular Meeting of the Heads of Government meeting held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel in Georgetown.

The regional body’s statement comes amidst the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine with tragic loss of civilian lives, including women and children, and the widespread suffering and displacement of people in Gaza.

“In this regard, CARICOM urges an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in Gaza and safe and unimpeded access for the delivery of adequate and sustained humanitarian assistance,” Ali said.

CARICOM’s condemnation extends to both sides of the conflict, denouncing the attacks by Hamas and the actions by Israel that violate international humanitarian law and the human rights of the Palestinian people.

He stated that the relentless bombardment of Gaza has resulted in catastrophic loss of life, destruction of critical infrastructure, and deprivation of basic necessities such as food, water, and medical care.

The CARICOM Chair noted, “We also strongly advocate for the rule of law to prevail and for the return of all hostages and persons held in administrative detention without charge to their families.”

The community’s urgent plea highlights the need for safe and unimpeded access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the affected population.

Additionally, CARICOM reaffirmed its commitment to a two-state solution in accordance with the United Nations resolutions as the only viable path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Furthermore, CARICOM expresses deep concern over Israel’s disregard for UN resolutions and the orders of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), urging the UN General Assembly to take decisive action to compel Israel to adhere to its obligations.

“The community therefore calls for a renewed commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through meaningful dialogue and negotiation and calls upon international community to play a constructive role in facilitating a lasting solution to the conflict and achieving a durable peace that guarantees the human rights, dignity and security of both sides,” Ali concluded.

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