Publish: 31 Oct 2023, 11:20 am
Angelina Jolie, who served as a United National special envoy, is calling for a ceasefire in the Middle East—deploring Hamas’ attack on Israel but saying it does not justify Israel’s bombing of Gaza.
On Sunday, Jolie, 48, shared a statement to Instagram in which she cited her longtime work with the United Nations supporting refugees and stated that her "focus is on the people displaced by violence in any context."
“Like millions around the world I have spent the last weeks sick and angry at the terrorist attack in Israel, the death of so many innocent civilians, and wondering how best to help," the actor and humanitarian wrote in her statement. "I too am praying for the immediate, safe return of every hostage, and for the families who carry the unimaginable pain of a murder of a loved one. Above all, the children murdered, and the many children now orphaned."
"What happened in Israel is an act of terror," she continued. "But that cannot justify the innocent lives lost in bombing a civilian population in Gaza that has nowhere to go, no access to food or water, no possibility of evacuation and not even the basic human right to cross a border to seek refuge."
As Jolie noted in her post, the Gaza Strip holds an estimated population of 2.2 million people, nearly half (47.3%) of whom are children, according to NPR. The actor also noted that the population of Gaza have lived under Israel's military blockade since 2007, which the United Nations Children's Fund said in 2022 has "virtually isolat[ed] the Gaza Strip from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory and the world."
"The few aid trucks that are entering are a fraction of what is needed (and was delivered daily before the present conflict) and the bombings are causing desperate new humanitarian needs daily," Jolie said of Israel's military response to Hamas' Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel, which resulted in thousands of casualties and hundreds of people taken hostage into Gaza.
"The denial of aid, fuel and water is collectively punishing a people," she continued. "Humanity demand an immediate ceasefire. Palestinian and Israeli lives — and the lives of all people globally — matter equally."
"Anything that can prevent civilian casualties and save lives must be done," Jolie added, noting that she is following Doctors Without Borders' reporting and statements on the war.
At the statement's end, the actor urged her followers to read a statement Doctors Without Borders issued Saturday similarly calling for an "immediate ceasefire to prevent more deaths in Gaza and allow desperately needed humanitarian supplies."
"The actions of world leaders are too weak, too slow, as a non-binding UN resolution for a humanitarian truce has done nothing to reign in the indiscriminate violence unleashed on a helpless people," the organization said. "The international community must take stronger action to urge Israel to stop the bloodshed."
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