We are devastated by the horrifying loss of life and widespread trauma of the past months.  Even in these most challenging of times, the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies continues our dedication to environmental diplomacy, research, and peacebuilding.   

We condemn the attack by Hamas on the kibbutzim and towns in the Gaza Envelope along Israel’s southern border with Gaza.  

We deplore the killing of thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians due to the bombing and fighting in Gaza and as Israeli civilians are still under attack from missiles. 

Therefore, we call for the immediate release of all Israeli hostages kidnapped on October 7th and an immediate and urgent ceasefire of all sidesreiterating our call for the immediate protection of all Palestinian and Israeli innocent civilian lives, for urgent steps to de-escalate the situation, and to prevent the continued spiraling to even further tragedy. 

Looking towards the next steps, we support the efforts to begin the sustainable rebuilding of the Gaza Envelope area in Israel. We call for urgent attention to the enormous humanitarian crisis in Gaza which will require a massive effort on the part of the international community to rebuild homes and infrastructure for almost 2 million people.  The Arava Institute stands ready to join in this international effort and to provide rapid decentralized responses to water, energy, and sanitation challenges as the international community gears up for the long-term reconstruction of Gaza.     

Our fates are connected. The only way forward for security and justice for Palestinians and Israelis is through a peace process that will require compromise and a brave new commitment to a peaceful resolution of this conflict.   

At the Arava Institute, we believe that a different future, that embraces cycles of trust, empathy, and compassion, is possible and achievable for Palestinians and Israelis.  

We continue our work to promote such a sustainable, just, and peaceful outcome for our region. 

Arava Institute statement, January 29th