Gaza: Urgent action needed to end hostilities and prevent continued atrocities

Published 05. Apr 2024
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) calls for decisive action, such as suspending arms transfers to Israel, and the immediate cessation of hostilities to avert further atrocities, after six months of unparalleled hostilities in Gaza.

"The humanitarian crisis in Gaza has reached catastrophic levels, with nearly the entire population forcibly displaced and facing dire shortages of essential goods and services for survival," said Jan Egeland, secretary general of NRC. 

The urgency of the situation in Gaza cannot be overstated. More than one week after the UN Security Council demanded an immediate ceasefire, and despite additional provisional measures mandated by the International Court of Justice, there remains no tangible improvement in the situation for civilians on the ground. 

Gaza has become one of the world’s most dangerous areas, with civilians and aid workers facing unprecedented risks and indiscriminate attacks, in what amount to gross and systemic violations of international law. Despite efforts to safeguard aid workers, humanitarian operations continue to come under attack, severely impeding the delivery of life-saving assistance as famine looms large.                    

“After six months of bloodshed, the UN Security Council must fulfil its responsibility to restore peace and security. It is beyond time for the international community to honour its commitments to prevent atrocity crimes and protect civilians,” said Egeland.  

“Six months after the heinous attack by Hamas, and after six months of Israel’s bloody military campaign with total disrespect of international laws, the fighting has to stop. NRC repeats its call for an immediate ceasefire and for all hostages to be released.”

“Finally, we see a glimmer of hope in the opening of border crossings, and the use of the port of Ashdod for essential supplies for the people of Gaza. Israel and its allies must ensure that aid can now flow freely to avert a famine, and that there will be a protection system for humanitarian workers that guarantees our security. Most of all we need protection for Palestinian civilians, who have been indiscriminately killed during these last six months,” said Egeland.

The international community must take decisive action to ensure the implementation of a sustained ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and protection of civilians in accordance with international law. NRC calls on the UN Security Council and all concerned states to consider measures, such as conditioning, suspending, or refusing arms transfers, that would be commensurate with the scale and severity of Israel's unlawful actions. 

Notes to editors 

  • The violence ignited by a heinous attack perpetrated by Hamas on 7 October has led to the tragic deaths of approximately 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals, with hundreds deliberately targeted, and over 250 taken hostage. 
  • In retaliation, Israel launched a relentless assault on Gaza, resulting to date, in the deaths of over 32,975 Palestinians, leaving more than 75,500 injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.
  • Lawful countermeasures applied by states should conform with obligations arising when peremptory norms of international law are breached, and be reversible once Israel complies with its obligations, ceases its wrongful behaviour, and provides reparations to its victims.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: 

  • NRC global media hotline:, +47 905 62 329
  • Ahmed Bayram, MENA Media Adviser, in Amman:, +962 79 0160147