Press release October 9, 2023
Freedom House Condemns Heinous Attack on Israel
The deliberate targeting of civilians is unacceptable.
WASHINGTON—Following Hamas’s coordinated October 7 attack on Israel, Freedom House president Michael J. Abramowitz issued the following statement:
“Freedom House condemns Hamas’s heinous attack on Israel, the abduction of civilian hostages, and the murder of innocent civilians. Civilians are never an appropriate target for any armed attack. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the hundreds of Israelis who have lost their lives in the first days of this coordinated terrorist offensive.
“In just the 48 hours after the initial attack, the total number of deaths exceeds 1,000. Thousands of others were injured, and exponentially more will bear personal losses for years to come. While Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy, has every right to protect its citizens against attackers who would deny its very existence, we urge Israeli forces to respect international law in their response, including by taking steps to avoid further casualties among Gazan civilians—many of whom have already been killed—and allowing them to access humanitarian assistance as the consequences of Hamas’s attack continue to cascade.
“The unfolding violence will make it harder to achieve a durable peace in which the rights of all people in the region are respected. Ultimately, democracy throughout the Middle East is the only way to guarantee the freedom, security, and prosperity of its diverse populations.”
Israel is rated Free in Freedom in the World 2023. The Gaza Strip, which is analyzed separately, is rated Not Free. Freedom in the World reports assess the level of political rights and civil liberties in a given geographical area, regardless of whether they are affected by the state, nonstate actors, or foreign powers.
Freedom House is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to create a world where all are free. We inform the world about threats to freedom, mobilize global action, and support democracy’s defenders.