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Statement on Gaza 15 May 2018
While the Conservative government continues to arm Israel and some in the Labour Party continue to debate whether or how harshly Israel can be criticised, Palestinians are being massacred with impunity in full view of an often complicit media.
Since Gazans launched their peaceful Long March of Return on 30 March, culminating on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the catastrophe, 15 May 2018, over 100 unarmed Palestinians have been murdered (about 60 on the day that Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem), including children, and thousands more wounded and maimed by Israeli snipers using illegal dumdum bullets which expand after entering the body. What if British or Israeli civilians were being killed or maimed like that and in such numbers?
We condemn this slaughter by an apartheid state against an unarmed people demanding their human rights. We demand an immediate two-way arms embargo between the UK and Israel.
Jeremy Corbyn wrote:
Today’s killing of dozens of unarmed protesters and the wounding of many more by Israeli forces in Gaza is an outrage that demands not just international condemnation, but action to hold those responsible to account.
This slaughter follows weeks of killings of Palestinian civilians demonstrating for their right to return, most of whom are refugees or the families of refugees. Coming on the day President Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, it underlines the threat to peace posed by the continuing and intolerable injustices faced by the Palestinian people.
The response from many western governments to this flagrant illegality, including our own – which bears a particular responsibility for a peaceful and just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict – has been wholly inadequate. They should take a lead from Israeli peace and justice campaigners: to demand an end to the multiple abuses of human and political rights Palestinians face on a daily basis, the 11-year siege of Gaza, the continuing 50-year occupation of Palestinian territory and the ongoing expansion of illegal settlements.
We cannot turn a blind eye to such wanton disregard for international law. That is why Labour is committed to reviewing UK arms sales to Israel while these violations continue.
The international community must at last put its collective authority and weight behind achieving a lasting settlement that delivers peace, justice and security for both Israelis and Palestinians, who have waited so long to achieve their rights.
And Read the Statement by Emily Thornberry…