Islamic Relief Canada welcomes the ceasefire announced between Israel and Hamas that came into effect this morning.

However, a ceasefire alone will not be enough to prevent violence escalating again in future. The world must now seize this moment to kickstart a process that truly addresses the root causes of the crisis.

Zaid Al-Rawni, the CEO of Islamic Relief Canada, says:

A ceasefire is hugely welcome to stop the death and destruction of recent days. The immediate humanitarian priority now is to open crossings so that vital supplies of food, medicine and fuel can reach those who desperately need them – including tens of thousands of people whose homes are damaged and may be too hazardous to return to.

However, there is a real threat that violence like this will continue to flare up unless meaningful action is taken to address the deep-rooted injustice and inequality at the heart of the situation. The international community must demand an end to the Israeli occupation, and also the blockade of Gaza that accompanies it. The occupation affects every aspect of Palestinians’ daily life. It denies their basic human rights, undermines their dignity and entrenches poverty. Through its relative silence and inaction, the international community has been complicit in this suffering for too long.

In the meantime, humanitarian aid is urgently needed. Thousands of lives and homes across Gaza have been destroyed by the bombing. Civilians have been worst affected and more than a quarter of the casualties of the past 11 days have been children – almost all of them in Gaza.

Islamic Relief Canada is calling for international aid to support rebuilding damaged infrastructure, strengthening health and electricity networks and providing psychosocial support.

Islamic Relief teams are providing bedding, food vouchers and other essential aid to displaced families.

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