Carter Center Calls for Cease-fire in Gaza, Return of Hostages, Opening of Humanitarian Corridors

ATLANTA (October 31, 2023) — In his 2002 Nobel Peace Prize lecture, our founder, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, said, “We will not learn to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.” His words resonate with us today more than ever as the Israel-Hamas conflict enters a new and even more dangerous phase.

This weekend, Israeli forces moved into Gaza and intensified their devastating attacks. Israel, like all nations, has a right to defend itself; it also has the obligation of proportionality under international law. Violence will only beget more violence. We urge all parties to agree to a cease-fire. We ask for the opening of humanitarian corridors into Gaza and the reinstatement of essential services to the area. We urge the immediate, safe return of all hostages, and we call on both sides to abide by international law.

Hamas is responsible for the horrific Oct. 7 massacre of more than 1,400 innocent people in Israel and the taking of more than 200 hostages. And the innocent people of Gaza are now unfairly suffering from the ongoing conflict and the acute humanitarian crisis that has unfolded. Israel’s devastating strikes have killed more than 8,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, including over 3,000 children. Tens of thousands more have lost their homes, and the entire population urgently needs medicine, food, water, and electricity. We call on Israel to enable essential services to reach Gaza so lives can be saved.

We also decry the rise of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian sentiments around the world, which is spreading fear through hateful speech and acts. Dehumanization is a gateway to violence and must be condemned wherever it arises.

Collective punishment is contrary to international law. So is the murder of civilians. The violence must stop now. There is no military solution to this crisis, only a political one that acknowledges the common humanity of both Israelis and Palestinians, respects the human rights of all, and creates a path for both societies to live side by side in peace.



The Carter Center
Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.