Statement, 19 October 2023

War in Israel/Palestine: HEKS/EPER prepares emergency aid for civilians

The conflict in the Middle East has reached a largely unprecedented level of violence in the past two weeks. HEKS/EPER is committed to protecting the civilian population and is preparing to bring humanitarian assistance to suffering civilians as rapidly as possible.

The brutal attacks of Hamas and other armed groups on Israel and civilians in Israel have led to an unprecedented escalation of violence in Israel/Palestine. So far, the toll on both sides has been more than 4000 people killed, and almost 20’000 injured, some severely. Besides – if we add up those affected on both sides – there are about one million internally displaced persons who have had to flee to the south of the Gaza Strip or who have been evacuated inside Israel owing to the latest escalation of violence. Moreover, rocket attacks on Israel, mainly by Hamas, and Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip have destroyed or badly damaged more than 7500 buildings, as well as critical infrastructure such as hospitals and schools. There is also a risk of diseases and epidemics stemming from the complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, non-existent or extremely limited access to clean water and electricity, and from the fact that medical capabilities are almost completely exhausted. If the hostilities continue, the number of casualties is expected to multiply, especially among civilians on both sides.
Nothilfe Israel Palästina

HEKS/EPER is following the developments in Israel/Palestine with the utmost concern. A ceasefire is urgently needed, as is humanitarian access, to be able to support the civilian population. HEKS/EPER is making intensive preparations to provide urgently needed aid for civilians in need.    

Together with its local Israeli and Palestinian partner organisations and with other international aid agencies active in the conflict zone, HEKS/EPER is working towards providing internally displaced people in the Gaza Strip with food, water and hygiene items as rapidly as possible. Besides these vitally important items, the affected people are also in need of psycho-social support. HEKS/EPER is also assessing options to assist the people affected by the conflict in Israel and the Westbank. 

At the same time, HEKS/EPER attaches the highest priority to the safety of its personnel stationed in Gaza and Jerusalem. 

HEKS/EPER calls upon all parties to the conflict to immediately cease all hostilities and breaches of international humanitarian law, in the interests of the suffering civilian population on both sides. All persons taken as hostages to the Gaza Strip must be released immediately and unconditionally, and the bombing of civilians in Gaza must stop. The warring parties must open corridors for the international community and humanitarian agencies to provide emergency assistance, so a humanitarian disaster of even greater proportions can be averted.  

Dieter Wüthrich
Contact me
Dieter Wüthrich
Telephone direct: +41 76 461 88 70

Thank you for your Support!

Donate now

Select the amount of your donation
Your donation goes to:
Israel/Palestine emergency aid