In a statement, the European Board of the IOI unanimously expressed their sincere concern regarding the situation in Israel and Gaza:
Events in Israel and Gaza: Statement by IOI European Board.
Few can have learned about the atrocities committed in Israel in recent days without outrage, horror, distress and disbelief. Babies have been murdered, women raped and civilians (including Holocaust survivors, women and children) held hostage. The killing by Hamas of significant numbers of civilians has precipitated retaliation and catastrophic loss of cherished lives across both Israel and Gaza.
Hamas must be held accountable, and the Israeli hostages released without further harm.
This is a time for us to support our international colleagues in the struggle for human rights. We offer our strongest support to the Israeli State-Comptroller and Ombudsman, Matanyahu Englman. He is a valued friend and colleague in the International Ombudsman Institute. We note the work of his Office in reaching out to displaced people. We respect his capacity to explore the possibilities of dialogue with similarly mandated authorities in the region – including the ICHR, the Independent Commission for Human Rights in Palestine. We hope this will reduce tension and support essential humanitarian initiatives.
Israel must exercise its right to protect itself and to rescue hostages, and like all countries at war, do this without compromising its commitment to upholding international humanitarian law. We are aware that this responsibility has been made more challenging by the use by Hamas of civilians as human shields in Gaza. We strongly support the UN Secretary General’s call for safe passages for the civilian populations to be opened as soon as possible and hope a speedy solution can be found to make this happen.
IOI European Board, Vienna 17 October 2023