I am writing to you as a constituent and as a member of the United Nations Association to ask for your urgent support in calling on the UK government, as a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, to take immediate action to uphold its international obligations, such as its Responsibility to Protect civilians from atrocities in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.
The tension that has been building in the Holy Land in recent months has been fuelled by growing human rights abuses in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories. The present tragic escalation in the Palestine/Israel conflict war was started by Hamas’ invasion of Israel on 7th October, breaking international humanitarian law by attacking civilians and taking hostages. Israel has a right to self-defence, but only in compliance with international law.
Now, urgently, please call on the UK Government to take the following actions:
- Press Israel to end its policy of ‘total closure’, and allow the safe and unimpeded entry of full electricity, fuel, water, food and other humanitarian necessities as well as medical personnel into Gaza and the West Bank.
- Demand that Israel immediately reverse its illegal forced removal orders for northern areas of Gaza. In addition, displaced persons must be guaranteed safe return to their homes.
- Work urgently to support the UN Secretary General’s call for a “humanitarian ceasefire”, demanding an end to the indiscriminate bombardment of homes, hospitals, schools and other civilian objects and infrastructure by all parties.
- Demand that all parties comply with international humanitarian and human rights law. Condemn in the strongest terms attacks by any actor on protected persons and facilities, and support accountability for perpetrators through independent mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court.
- Allow urgent humanitarian relief efforts into Gaza and supply a massive expansion of aid and the mobilisation of the UK Emergency Medical Team.
- Work with partners to secure the release of all hostages and other illegally detained non-combatants.
- Recognise the importance of freedom of speech, while banning hate speech. People around the world should be allowed to criticise actions of governments and other leaders; such criticism must be able to extend to peaceful forms of protest and campaigning (such as through boycotting, divestment and sanctions) against those bodies that they feel are committing human rights abuses.
Please also raise these issues with your party leadership, and urge them to articulate clear opposition to serious violations of international law by Israel and Hamas. Ask them to call for accountability, protection of civilians, humanitarian access, as well as for freedom of speech and peaceful campaigning for those wanting to help bring peace and full human rights to the Middle East.
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