Russian Pugwash Committee blog

Statement on the situation in Palestine and Israel

December 7, 2023

Pugwash expresses its deepest concern at the unprecedented levels of violence in the bloody confrontation between Hamas and Israel and between Israel and Palestine.

The attacks against the civil population in Israel, in Gaza and in the West Bank—with approximately 13000-14000 victims, and approximately 5000 of them children—underscore the unacceptable brutality in the current fight, and bring to the forefront the urgent need to achieve an immediate ceasefire followed by earnest negotiations leading to a just and durable peace.


International humanitarian law must be observed at all times by all sides involved, most importantly protecting civilians not taking part in the fighting, children, and wounded and sick people. Immediate relief through the establishment of a safe security corridor for people and supplies in Gaza is imperative.

Each side has legitimate grievances and concerns that must be recognized and addressed. Violence only increases the difficulty of solving the complex political and legal situation that evolved from a long historical background. A workable settlement must take into account the security needs of the whole region, and aim at enhancing the security of all nations.

Any solution to the current crisis will demand restraint, goodwill, compassion, and a cooperative stance by all those concerned. Ways must be found to minimize the economic and social damage caused by this conflict.

The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs urgently calls for a humanitarian approach to this long-lasting conflict, recalling the words of its founding Russell-Einstein Manifesto: “We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.”

Sergio Duarte, President
Paolo Cotta-Ramusino, Secretary General
Karen Hallberg, Chair of the Pugwash Council

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