Statement Calling for an Immediate and Permanent Ceasefire against Israeli and Palestinian Militants, including Hamas, and Urging the Japanese Government to Work toward its Implementation
The conflict between Hamas and other Palestinian militants (hereinafter referred to as "Hamas") and Israel, which escalated due to the attacks carried out by Hamas on October 7th of this year, has persisted for over a month. While a temporary cessation of hostilities is currently in place, concrete steps towards a lasting ceasefire have yet to be taken.
As of November 10th, the death toll on the Israeli side has exceeded 1,200 (according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), and in the Gaza Strip, the reported number of casualties is 11,078 (as announced by local authorities in Gaza). Disturbingly, Gaza's Health Ministry data reveals that, as of November 3rd, 67% of the casualties in the Gaza Strip are children and women, and at least 192 have been identified as healthcare professionals. Although approximately 240 individuals, including around 30 children, who were held hostage by Hamas have been released in stages, not all have been freed.
Parties involved in the conflict must always adhere to international humanitarian and human rights law. Specific provisions exist to protect children and healthcare professionals, and there is no justification for the loss of countless lives, including children and healthcare workers. The actions taken by both Hamas and Israel violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations calls for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas and urges Israel to take immediate action toward a lasting ceasefire.
Furthermore, we call upon the Japanese government to collaborate with the international community in advocating for a permanent ceasefire, the release of hostages, and adherence to international humanitarian law and international human rights law by both parties.
In the pursuit of respecting human rights and achieving peace, we release this statement.
November 29, 2023
President, Japan Federation of Bar Associations