Israel and Palestine: Civilians must be protected, and hostages released

11 Oct 2023

In a statement released on 11 October, the LWF condemns all attacks by all parties on civilians in Israel and Palestine, expresses grave concerns about the targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, calls for a release of hostages, and urges all parties to uphold International Humanitarian Law. 

A statement of The Lutheran World Federation

A statement of The Lutheran World Federation

A statement of The Lutheran World Federation

(LWI) – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is gravely concerned about the continued escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine, particularly, the targeting of civilians. LWF unequivocally condemns all attacks by all parties on civilians.

LWF strongly condemns the brutal attacks by Hamas on Israeli citizens. Taking hostages is unacceptable, and LWF calls for their immediate release. 

LWF urges Israeli forces to act according to International Humanitarian Law and prioritize the protection of civilians who are not warring parties. A breach of International Humanitarian Law by one party does not justify another breach by the other party.

The rules of war, set out in the Geneva Conventions, must be upheld. Targeting civilians is never justified, and attacks on civilian infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals, are unacceptable. 

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is rapidly deteriorating. Hundreds of thousands of people have already been displaced, basic infrastructure, including medical facilities, has been destroyed, and the population has nowhere to flee. Civilians who want to leave must be guaranteed safe passage, and humanitarian corridors must be opened without delay to allow aid to reach the population.

LWF calls on authorities in Israel and Palestine and the International Community to ensure the access of the United Nations and other humanitarian actors in the region to provide urgent life-saving assistance to Palestinian civilians trapped and helpless in Gaza.

LWF stands with all affected by this violence, with those who grieve, and those who live in fear and without hope for the future.

The people in the Holy Land deserve peace, which will only be achieved through negotiations that meet the needs of Israelis and Palestinians and bring long-term stability to the Holy Land and the region.