Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:
"The killing of Israeli citizens and hostage taking by Hamas are shocking war crimes. But any military operation by Israel must be limited in scope, compliant with the laws of war, and take all possible measures to protect civilians.
Israel responding to the atrocities committed by Hamas with more war crimes will generate more hatred and violence against Israelis. At this terrible time, I urge all parties to remember their common humanity. Palestinian and Israeli lives are of equal worth."
On 9 October, Mary Robinson, Chair of the Elders and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said:
"The Elders unequivocally condemn the terrorist attacks launched by Hamas against Israel. These are shocking war crimes. We mourn the murdered dead and demand the immediate release of all hostages. Israel has the right to defend itself using proportionate measures in accordance with the laws of war. The risk of uncontrollable violence was palpable when Ban Ki-moon and I visited Israel and Palestine earlier this year. It is grotesque that civilians in Israel and Palestine are paying the price for the chronic failure of political leadership on all sides. The international community, particularly the UN Security Council, must take urgent steps to protect civilians, deter further escalation in the region and address the root causes of the conflict.”