UK: David Cameron's Israel visit must see Foreign Secretary calling for full Gaza ceasefire
Commenting on the Foreign Secretary David Cameron’s visit to Israel and Palestine today, Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK's Chief Executive, said:
“With the horrifying civilian death toll from Israeli attacks in Gaza still rising and no permanent ceasefire in sight, it’s vital that David Cameron uses this trip to signal an urgently-needed change of direction from the UK government in support of humanity and international law.
“Lord Cameron should inform the Israeli government that the UK will now support a full negotiated ceasefire on all sides in the interests of averting further civilian suffering for Palestinians and Israelis.
“Short ‘pauses’ are not enough. Civilian lives in Gaza, Israel and the wider Occupied Palestinian Territory are at stake, and the foreign secretary can help shift international momentum in the direction of respect for international law, de-escalation and life-saving aid access.
“It’s long been clear that a negotiated, comprehensive ceasefire is the most effective way to stop unlawful attacks by all parties, to halt the terrifying civilian death toll in Gaza, allow for the delivery of aid and other vital supplies, and create safe conditions to secure the release of all hostages and unlawfully-detained people.
“During this trip, David Cameron should resist pressure to make any comments that would, even indirectly, legitimise Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.
“The UK has a responsibility to demand that Israel lift its illegal and inhumane 16-year blockade of Gaza, which amounts to the war crime of collective punishment, a key aspect of Israel’s repressive apartheid system.
“This crisis is rooted in decades-long impunity, so David Cameron must make it clear that the UK not only recognises the independence and the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court but, as we’ve seen in other crises, is willing to unequivocally support the vital work of the ICC with all necessary resources.”
Amnesty International UK has produced a new briefing on the Israel/OPT crisis for parliamentarians as part of its ongoing campaign work (see attachment to this press release).