Moro groups condemn hospital strike in Gaza

Moro groups condemn hospital strike in Gaza

/ 05:06 AM October 20, 2023

Moro groups condemn hospital strike in Gaza

CALL FOR PEACE Maranao students and residents of Marawi City join the grand solidarity rally on Thursday to call for peace and to demand that Israel stop its attacks on Gaza where innocent civilians have been killed. —RICHEL V. UMEL

MARAWI CITY—Thousands of Bangsamoro people, most of them displaced victims of the Marawi siege more than six years ago, gathered in a school compound near the Lanao del Sur provincial capitol here on Thursday to condemn the Israeli airstrikes that killed more than 500 people in a hospital in Gaza and trapped thousands of Palestinians.

At least 20 groups that included the United Imam of the Philippines, One Maranao One Muhadarah, the Royal Sultanate of Lanao, among others, and traditional and religious leaders, called on world leaders to initiate a ceasefire and deescalation of the conflict for the sake of innocent civilians.


READ: DFA: Fourth Filipino killed in Israel-Hamas war


“We call on world leaders to call for a ceasefire and deescalation of the war and allow humanitarian relief to reach Gaza,” said Drieza Lininding, chair of the Moro Consensus Group, one of the groups that took part in the solidarity rally for Palestine.

He said the groups also urged world leaders to allow the United Nations and other bodies like the International Criminal Court to investigate the war crimes being committed against the Palestinian people.


“This kind of attack is the trademark of Israel targeting unarmed civilians, schools and mosques. The international community should wake up and stop Israel’s genocide campaign against Palestinians,” he added.

He said the displaced people of Marawi could identify with the ordeal of Palestinians trapped inside Gaza, but what happened to Marawi could not compare with what the Palestinian people had suffered for decades since they were displaced from the Israeli occupied territory.

Mohammad Nurkhan Sharief, 27, an educator and son of the late Moro leader Aga Khan Sharief, condemned the death of innocent civilians.

“Most of the fatalities were children, women, the elderly. They destroyed homes and mosques. This is not an issue of religion but of human rights,” he said.


The groups also urged the Philippine government not to immediately take sides on the conflict but instead view it on humanitarian grounds.

“We also appeal to Filipino leaders and the Marcos administration not to be too hasty in declaring unconditional support for Israel but instead, support the call for ceasefire and condemn Israel’s genocidal campaign against Palestinians,” Lininding said.

Protest actions

The rally was only one of the several protest actions initiated in different parts of the country calling for the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza and the cessation of hostilities from both sides.

In Cotabato City on Monday, close to 5,000 Bangsamoro also gathered at the city plaza calling for an end to the hostilities between Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas and to ensure the safety of all civilians, especially women and children.

Carrying the Palestine flags, the peace rally led by Datu Antao Midtimbang, a former Bangsamoro Transition Authority member, also called for Palestine’s freedom from Israeli occupation.

“Let us all pray for peace in Palestine, we call for the cessation of hostilities,” Midtimbang, also a Muslim religious leader, said as the crowd chanted, “Free Palestine.”

This developed as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said they had mobilized a convoy carrying 60 tons of aid, including urgently needed medical items, for Gaza but they still needed safe humanitarian access to deliver these to civilians in need, according to a statement from Rachel Malaguit, ICRC press officer in the Philippines.

Malaguit said that ICRC was also sending a four-person surgical team that included a chief surgeon, an orthopedic surgeon, an anesthetist and a theater nurse, to support the overwhelmed hospitals in the Gaza Strip to cope with the influx of the wounded.

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“The recent violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory is at a level that the ICRC has not witnessed in many years,” said the statement. “Thousands have lost their lives and many more are injured, missing or displaced … The level of humanitarian needs created by the violence requires sustained humanitarian relief.”

TAGS: Gaza, Israel, Marawi, Moro

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