News | War / Peace - Israel - Palestine / Jordan - War in Israel/Palestine - Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (en) Ceasefire Now! End the Suffering and Free the Hostages

Foundation chair Heinz Bierbaum and executive director Daniela Trochowski on the war in Gaza


Heinz Bierbaum and Daniela Trochowski, chair and executive director of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, respectively. Photo: Olaf Krostitz

Roughly 120 days have passed since Hamas launched its attack on Israel — a crime against humanity that left over 1,200 dead and more than 200 held hostage. That crime was then followed by the relentless Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip and a ground offensive that has brought four months of immense human suffering, incomprehensible destruction, and grave violations of international law and human rights committed by the Israeli armed forces.

Heinz Bierbaum is the Chair of the Executive Board of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

Daniela Trochowski is the Executive Director of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

Over 26,000 Palestinians have lost their lives in Gaza so far, the vast majority of them innocent women and children. Thousands more are presumed dead under the rubble, and an entire population has been traumatized. Of Gaza’s 2.2 million inhabitants, 1.9 million are on the run and primarily living in tent cities following the destruction of two-thirds of the civilian infrastructure in what was already a barely habitable space. Disease and hunger are now rife, fuelling a humanitarian catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.

Leading right-wing politicians in Israel openly call for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Gaza, as members of the government advocate the expulsion of Gaza’s population to neighbouring Egypt with the intention of establishing illegal Israeli settlements in Gaza. While the Israeli population deals with the collective trauma of the Hamas attack, right-wing politicians have introduced genocidal rhetoric towards the Palestinians into public discourse. It is this genocidal language and the brutal actions of the Israeli army in Gaza that led the International Court of Justice to admonish Israel to do everything possible to prevent a possible genocide.

So far, exactly one Israeli hostage has been freed from Hamas by military means. Others have been killed by friendly fire from Israeli troops. The initial ceasefire in November, by contrast, saw more than 100 hostages freed through a prisoner exchange for Palestinians in Israeli prisons, most of them women and young people who were imprisoned without due process. More and more Israeli soldiers, most of them reservists with families, are losing their lives in the fighting. Over 100,000 Israelis are currently internally displaced within their own country. This destructive war, with all its catastrophic, unbearable consequences for the people of Gaza, contributes nothing to a just peace nor to security for anyone in the region.

We hold the following points to be essential for an end to the structural violence in Israel and Palestine:

  • An immediate ceasefire by all warring parties.
  • Immediate and unconditional release of all Israeli hostages in the hands of Hamas and other organizations, as well as all innocent Palestinians in Israeli prisons — if necessary, by means of a prisoner exchange.
  • Reversal of the German government’s recent withholding of funds to refugee organizations in Palestine, such as UNRWA.
  • An investigation by international courts into all war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other alleged violations of international law and human rights committed by all warring parties.
  • An end to the illegal settlement policy pursued by the Israeli government, the Israeli military, and militant settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the almost daily Israeli military incursions into Palestinian towns and villages as well as the ongoing and accelerated expulsion of Palestinians from their land and homes by militant settlers under Israeli military protection since 7 October.
  • Immediate recognition of the State of Palestine by the German government and the United Nations.
  • Resumption of internationally supported and mediated negotiations over a political solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians with the near-term goal of establishing a sovereign Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

We support all measures to alleviate the suffering of the civilian population during the war and resulting humanitarian catastrophe. Above all, this requires an immediate ceasefire. Essential humanitarian aid for the Palestinian population must not be played off against the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination within the 1967 borders, which is enshrined in international law. For Palestinians, opening the border to Egypt implies not only the possibility of humanitarian aid, but also the danger of renewed expulsion.

Through our offices in Tel Aviv and Ramallah, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation will continue its work to support civil society and political actors in Israel and Palestine who are committed to a non-violent, consensual, and peaceful solution to the conflict that enables both peoples the right to freedom, justice, and a life in dignity.