ICOMOS has issued the following statement:
This past week, ICOMOS has witnessed with horror and despair the unspeakable attacks, loss of life and suffering inflicted on Israeli and Palestinian civilians – who are again paying the heaviest price in this conflict, our own members and their families included. We express our deepest condolences and solidarity to all those who have lost or are still missing their loved ones.
Both in light of the situation in Gaza, and the increasing spillover in the region, we remind all parties involved in the conflict and those who have influence on these, that this region contains many of humanity’s most precious and sacred sites, as well as institutions and people who care for and study them. This irreplaceable cultural heritage is of vital importance to all living communities attached to it. Under international humanitarian law, respect and safeguarding of cultural heritage is not optional, and intentional destruction is a war crime.
In the face of this evolving tragedy, we urgently appeal for the respect of international humanitarian law and the protection and safety of civilians, in the name of our shared humanity.