Statement By The Arab Organization of Disabled people (AODP)Urgent efforts needed to address
the impact of the war against Gaza
on Persons with a Disability and their families
The Arab Organization of Disabled people (AODP) on behalf of Persons with Disabilities and their representative organizations in the Arab world, calls for response to the humanitarian emergency caused by the unjustified war against the people of Gaza.
The Israeli military operations which lasted for 22 days, represents a grave breach of the Geneva conventions of 12 August 1949, according to international humanitarian and human rights agencies; These include the use by Israel of banned arms particularly the use of white phosphorous bombs against civilian targets and in densely populated areas; Extensive destruction of the civil property including hospitals UNRWA schools and warehouses, places of worship and the people’s homes while they are still in them without prior warning.
The War against the people of Gaza has caused long-term, permanent disabilities in large segments of the population. The people of Gaza remain in situations of high risk which will affect everyone, in particular persons with disabilities.
According to conservative estimates, the 22-day war against unarmed, innocent civilian population of Gaza has resulted in over 1,337 people killed.
These include 410 children, 185 woman and over 100 elderly people, the number of wounded has exceeded 5,500. Many of the wounded will most certainly be left with permanent and life-long disabilities... Additionally, there is little information about the situation of persons with disabilities in Gaza, the difficulties they faced during the 22 days of constant bombardment in an area where there are few shelters for those without disabilities let alone safe havens accessible to persons who are disabled.
The unjustified blockade and the present war against the people of Gaza have had a devastating impact in particular on persons with disabilities and their related services. Emergency services in Gaza are limited and for the most part inaccessible which have resulted and will continue to result in serious threats to persons with disabilities.
Additionally, there is an urgent need for programs/services including physical and psychosocial rehabilitation, trauma-stress-treatment, assistive devices and technical aids.
During this humanitarian crisis, we, the AODP, on behalf of the Arab national and regional disabled persons organizations, would like to express our deep concern about situation of persons with disabilities in Gaza and the noticeable neglect for their wellbeing and safety.
We therefore, call on the international disability committee particularly the International Disability Alliances, the federations, unions, and networks to exert and mobilize all efforts to support persons with disabilities in Gaza and to express solidarity with Arab disabled persons organizations in urging State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Geneva Conventions, to take action to protect the rights of persons with disabilities and to ensure their safety as stated in Paragraph U in the Preamble, and in Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Arab Organization of Disabled people (AODP)