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Queen Rania says massive Palestinian casualties cannot be dismissed as human shields, stresses need for a ceasefire

Her Majesty emphasises that the root cause of this conflict is an illegal occupation

By JT - Nov 06,2023 - Last updated at Nov 06,2023

Her Majesty Queen Rania denounced the “catastrophic humanitarian situation” in Gaza, urging a collective call for a ceasefire during a remote interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson from Amman (Photo courtesy of Her Majesty's office)

AMMAN — Her Majesty Queen Rania denounced the “catastrophic humanitarian situation” in Gaza, urging a collective call for a ceasefire.

“How many more people have to die before our global conscience awakes? Or is it forever dormant when it comes to the Palestinians?” Queen Rania asked.

In a remote interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson from Amman, Her Majesty noted that there have been nearly 10,000 deaths in Gaza since the war began, almost half of them children “These are not just numbers. Each one of these children was somebody's everything,” she said, according to a statement from Her Majesty’s office.

“There's an acronym in Gaza, W.C.N.S.F.: Wounded Child with No Surviving Family,” Her Majesty added. “That's an acronym that should never exist, but it does exist in Gaza.”

When asked about Israel’s claims that civilians are being used as human shields, Queen Rania stressed that, while the use of human shields is “criminal,” under international law, Israel has a responsibility to avoid civilian deaths, and that no nation is exempt.

“Before firing any bullet, before dropping any bomb, it is the responsibility of the nation to weigh the risk to civilian life. And if that risk is disproportionate to the military target, then it is deemed unlawful,” Her Majesty said.

She continued, “In a place like Jabaliya, which is one of the most crowded corners of Gaza – and Gaza being one of the most densely populated spots on Earth – civilian death is not incidental, it is not accidental. It is a foregone conclusion.”

Queen Rania also pushed back against Israel’s claims that it is doing its best to protect civilians in Gaza.

“When 1.1 million people are asked to leave their homes or risk death, that is not protection of civilians. That is forced displacement,” she said. “UN agencies and other agencies have said that there is no safe place in Gaza. And even the areas that they have asked people to seek refuge in – those so-called ‘safe zones’ – they have been attacked as well.”

Noting that many of Israel’s evacuation orders are issued online or on television, despite the fact that electricity in the Gaza Strip has been cut off for weeks, Her Majesty said she does not believe that these orders are for the benefit of the Gaza civilians. “They are not the target audience; the rest of the world is. It is Israel's attempt to try to legitimize their actions,” she said.

Stressing the need for an immediate ceasefire, the Queen acknowledged that some claim that a ceasefire would solely benefit Hamas. “However, I feel that in that argument, they are inherently dismissing the death – in fact, even endorsing and justifying the death – of thousands of civilians, and that is just morally reprehensible.” She also described this stance as “shortsighted and not entirely rational.”

“The root cause of this conflict is an illegal occupation. It is routine human rights abuses, illegal settlements, and disregard of UN resolutions and international law. If we do not address these root causes, then you can kill the combatant, but you cannot kill the cause.”

In response to a question on rising bigotry in the United States against both Jewish and Muslim people, Her Majesty “absolutely and wholeheartedly” condemned both antisemitism and Islamophobia, adding that Muslims should be the first to condemn antisemitism as Islamophobia is “the other side of the same disease.”

“We have had a long history of peaceful coexistence. So this is not about religion. It is about politics,” she said.

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