Media professionals call for end to killings in Gaza conflict
An association of international media professionals has called on both sides in the current conflict in Gaza to immediately abide by a United Nations resolution on peace to spare the lives of women and children caught up in the violence.
The International Association of Women in Radio and Television, IAWRT, says the fighting and indiscriminate killing violates the Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security.
IAWRT President Olya Booyar says the organisation - which has members in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the United States - has worked extensively on the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 since it was passed unanimously in 2000.
“As an association of journalists and program makers, IAWRT does not take sides with either Israel or Hamas,” Ms Booyar said. “But we are on the side of the innocent victims of war, whether they are Palestinian mothers grieving for their dead children or Israeli families quaking in terror in shelters as rockets fall.”
She said the UN resolution expresses concern that civilians, particularly women and children, account for the vast majority of those adversely affected by armed conflict, including as refugees and internally displaced persons, and increasingly are targeted by combatants and armed elements.
On the second week of the war, more then 700 people in Gaza have been killed - a third of them women and children - together with at least four Israeli civilians. Added to those killed or injured are hundreds of thousands of men, women and children trapped by the fighting and desperately short of supplies to sustain life.
She said the UN Security Council, which has the responsibility to uphold these conventions and resolution, must act.
IAWRT calls on the UN Secretary-General, in cooperation with the UN General Assembly, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA and the Executive Directors of UNICEF and UNIFEM to enforce these international conventions and resolution by demanding
● immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of all Israeli troops from Gaza.
● full opening of the Gaza borders for a massive relief operation of supplies and medical personel, coordinated with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent
● stop of Hamas rocket launching into Israel
● investigation and prosecution of those responsible for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
● allow press to operate without restrictions
International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT)