We are horrified by the escalating violence and the civilian death toll in Israel and Gaza, and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Hamas’s shocking summary killings and abductions of civilians displayed a chilling disregard for life and for international law. Deliberate attacks on civilians and hostage-taking are war crimes and cannot be justified under any circumstances. Hamas and other armed groups must end deliberate attacks on civilians, the firing of indiscriminate rockets, and hostage-taking. They must release civilian hostages immediately.
Relentless air strikes by Israeli forces are now pounding Gaza, obliterating entire families and destroying whole neighbourhoods. Once again civilians in Gaza have nowhere to seek safety.
The Israeli authorities' have cut Palestinian civilians off from all water, food, electricity & fuel. Gaza’s civilian population has already been living under illegal blockade for 16 years - a key part of the Israeli authorities system of apartheid against Palestinians. These new measures plunge Gaza’s 2.2 million Palestinians into darkness, and deprive them of access to essential needs.
The collective punishment of Gaza’s civilian population by Israeli authorities is a war crime - it is cruel and inhumane.
Palestinian civilians are not responsible for the crimes of Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups, and according to international law Israeli authorities must not make them suffer for acts they have played no role in and cannot control.
Families and survivors deserve justice.
How does this relate to our End Israeli Apartheid campaign?
The Israeli authorities illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip is a key tool of its apartheid system. Palestinians in Gaza are dominated, oppressed, and segregated, and trapped in a 16-year blockade where recurrent unlawful attacks punctuate a worsening humanitarian crisis.
Unlawful killings are some of the inhuman acts which Israeli authorities commits with the intent to maintain and enforce its system of apartheid over Palestinians. Israeli authorities control Gaza’s land, sea, and air borders, and its imports and exports. Severe and arbitrary restrictions on freedom of movement trap 2.2 million Palestinians in a tiny strip of land, separate families, and have led to a grave humanitarian crisis. Access to health care within and outside Gaza has been severely restricted, including for cancer patients.
Key Demands of UK Political Leaders 📣
UK political leaders call on:
- All parties to support an immediate ceasefire
- Israeli authorities and Hamas and other armed groups to strictly abide by international humanitarian law.
- Israeli authorities to lift the siege of Gaza.
- Israeli authorities to restore the electricity and water supply and allow unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza.
- Israeli authorities to release all Palestinians who are arbitrarily detained
- Israeli authorities to end its collective punishment of Gaza and say it is a war crime.
- Israeli authorities to take all feasible precautions to minimise harm to civilians and civilian objects and end indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks.
- Israeli authorities to ensure humanitarian corridors are opened for the passage of the sick, injured, and humanitarian cases, as well as civilians seeking to flee.
- Israeli authorities to not put the Rafah crossing out of service.
- Hamas and other armed groups to end deliberate attacks on civilians.
- Hamas and other armed groups to end the firing of indiscriminate rockets.
- Hamas and other armed groups to end hostage-taking and release civilian hostages immediately.
Justice & Accountability ⚖️
UK Political Leaders call for:
- Serious violations of international humanitarian law amounting to war crimes to be investigated as part of the International Criminal Court’s ongoing investigation.
- All responsible for crimes under international law to be held to account in a court of law, whether at the ICC or in national courts.
- Unconditional and unequivocal support to the work of the ICC.
- A suspension to the supply of arms to any party to the conflict given that serious violations amounting to crimes under international law are being committed.
- States supplying arms to Israel, Palestinian armed groups including Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad to refrain from doing so.
Root Causes 🪧
UK political leaders call for:
- The injustices and violations that are among the root causes of these repeated cycles of violence to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
- Israeli authorities to end its 16-year-long illegal blockade on Gaza.
- Israeli authorities system of apartheid imposed on all Palestinians to be dismantled.
As the situation is so fast moving, Amnesty is publishing the latest developments via publications on the press releases page of the AIUK website.