Addis Ababa, Oct 17 (EFE).- The African Union ( AU) and the Arab League have called upon the United Nations and the broader international community to avert an impending humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza strip, following Israel’s order to evacuate the Palestinian enclave in anticipation of a large-scale ground operation.
In a joint statement posted on social media platform X by the AU on Tuesday, both organizations expressed serious concern over Israel’s order for over one million Palestinians to vacate their homes, which they view as a violation of international law.
“Both organizations express grave concern over the Israeli order for more than one million Palestinians to leave their homes, contrary to international law. Therefore, they call on the United Nations and the international community to stop a catastrophe unfolding in front of us, before it is too late,” said the statement.
It underlined that approximately 2.2 million Palestinians in Gaza were grappling with “a worsening humanitarian crisis,” marked by severe shortages of drinking water and electricity, alongside a healthcare sector on the brink of collapse.
They stressed that there was an urgent need “to open a humanitarian corridor to provide basic assistance to the population of Gaza and rescue the wounded, while emphasizing that collective punishment should not be accepted.”
Both organizations called for “the immediate cessation of hostilities” between Israel and the militant group Hamas in Gaza.
“An Israeli invasion would undoubtedly entail a huge number of civilian casualties, including women and children, which could lead to a genocide of unprecedented proportions,” the statement underlined.
The AU and Arab League affirmed that a political solution rooted in “the two-State vision” was the only path to ensure peace and security for all nations and people in the region.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas began on Oct. 7, when the militant group initiated a land, sea, and air attack from Gaza into Israel, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,400 Israelis.
Israel has responded with the intense shelling of the Gaza strip, leading to the loss of more than 2,800 Palestinian lives. EFE