November 22, 2023

UCLG-MEWA General Assembly Gaza Statement

As the members of UCLG-MEWA General Assembly, who convened at Şanlıurfa on November 22, 2023, we have held a series of negotiations to address the genocidal attacks on the Gaza Strip, besieged by Israel.  As a result of these negotiations, we have decided to adopt a statement to draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

We mourn for the 15 thousand Gazans who lost their lives in the Israeli attacks and condemn Israel’s inhumane attitude that disregards international law. As local leaders, we are deeply saddened by the news of the assassination of our colleague Merwan Hamad, Mayor of Al-Zahra, along with his family members, and the death of Roshdi Sarraj, son of Yahya Sarraj, Mayor of Gaza. We call for an immediate end to these attacks and demand a permanent ceasefire. In this context, we call on the international community to adopt an approach that respects human rights and avoids double standards. 

In addition to its attacks on civilians, Israel has been committing war crimes by preventing Gazans’ access to water, electricity, internet and food since October 7. Tens of thousands of Gazans are in need of urgent medical intervention, and with the attacks on hospitals and lack of access to medical supplies, their chance of survival decreases with each passing day. Standing as the direct targets of the Israeli attacks, Gaza municipalities are trying to provide the basic services by pushing their limits and defying death despite these conditions.

In the meantime, the settler violence against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the West Bank, the intensity of which is in constant increase, exposes the need for a permanent political solution. We call on the entire international community to put an end to Israel’s ongoing unlawful and inhuman state terror in the West Bank and Gaza.

Finally, we call on the whole world to take action for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state to be framed on 1967 borders, and with Jerusalem as its capital.

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