SINGAPORE — The Singapore Government on Monday (Oct 16) said it is “deeply distressed” by the situation in the Gaza Strip, and called for the immediate release of all civilian hostages held by militant group Hamas.
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said the increasing casualty toll and deepening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip arose from Israeli military operations in response to attacks by Hamas on Israel on Oct 7.
In response to the humanitarian crisis, the Singapore Government will contribute S$300,000 towards relief operations through the Singapore Red Cross.
Singapore urged all parties to abide by international humanitarian law and allow for the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.
The Singapore Red Cross on Monday also announced it will donate US$150,000 (S$205,412) to support ongoing relief efforts.
The organisation said the sum will go to aid services on both sides, namely Israel’s Magen David Adom and the Palestine Red Crescent Society.
A public fundraising appeal was launched on Monday and will continue until the end of January next year.
At least 2,750 people had so far been killed by Israeli strikes on Gaza, a quarter of them children; and nearly 10,000 wounded. Another 1,000 people are missing and believed to be under rubble.
‘ATROCITIES CANNOT BE JUSTIFIED’
MFA on Monday said Palestinian militant group Hamas had in its surprise attack deliberately targeted civilians, murdering and kidnapping them, and perpetrating abhorrent acts of terror.
“These atrocities cannot be justified by any rationale. We call for the immediate and safe release of all civilians taken hostage by Hamas,” said a spokesperson.
“Israel has the legitimate right to defend its citizens and its territory. However, in exercising this right Israel must comply with international law, including the laws of war. It must do its utmost to protect the safety and security of civilians.”
“Tragically, too many lives on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been lost in repeated cycles of violence over many decades,” the MFA spokesperson added.
“Singapore has long held the position that the only viable path to a durable, just and comprehensive resolution to the longstanding conflict is a negotiated two-state solution consistent with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. It is convinced that this remains the case.”
Singapore urged both sides to take steps towards this “ultimate goal”, despite the recent and ongoing hostilities and the difficulty of the task.
“Israelis and Palestinians alike deserve to live in peace, security and dignity,” said MFA. CNA
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