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Civilians are paying a high price for the escalating violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories. Hundreds of innocent lives are being lost and hundreds of thousands deprived of their basic rights as the security situation deteriorates. A solution to the conflict can only lie in a political process. In the meantime, civilians caught up in armed conflict are guaranteed the right to protection under international humanitarian law. They cannot afford to wait for a negotiated settlement. Moreover, their protection will strengthen the path to peace and help to reduce poverty. The international community through member governments of the quartet (the EU, USA, UN and Russia) and governments in the region, must act now and fulfil the obligations under international law to ensure the right of civilians to protection. Oxfam is calling on the quartet to convene an emergency meeting with the Israeli Government and Palestinian National Authority to ensure that ordinary people on both sides are protected.

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