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UK: MPs should 'unreservedly' support this week's Gaza ceasefire motion

Activists outside Downing Street last week © Marie-Anne Ventoura/Amnesty International UK

Ahead of this week’s SNP opposition day motion in the House of Commons calling for an immediate Gaza ceasefire, Neil Cowan, Amnesty International Scotland Director, said:

“With the terrifyingly-high civilian death toll in Gaza still mounting inexorably, an immediate ceasefire is the only way to stem this unbearable suffering. 

“The motion for an immediate ceasefire should be unreservedly supported by all parties and all MPs - not with ifs, buts or other qualifications.

“The civilian population of Gaza have been killed in their thousands while the UK government has spoken only of the need for a ‘humanitarian pause’ or a ‘sustainable ceasefire’, rather than straightforwardly doing all in its power to achieve an immediate ceasefire. 

“In addition to pressing for an urgent ceasefire and the release of all civilian hostages in Gaza, the UK should push for the lifting of Israel’s crippling and illegal blockade on Gaza, suspend arms transfers to Israel and ban all trade with Israel’s illegal settlements.

“As a professed supporter of international law and accountability, the UK should proactively support the International Court of Justice’s Israel genocide case, and the ICC’s ongoing investigations into serious human rights violations in Israel and Palestine.

“Given the real risk of genocide against Palestinians, it’s now more urgent than ever that the UK reviews its relations with Israel to ensure it’s not supporting Israel’s illegal occupation or its system of apartheid.”

Rafah attacks

Last week, Amnesty published research into four unlawful Israeli attacks in supposedly “safe” areas of Rafah which killed at least 95 civilians, including 42 children. One of the attacks was carried out with a bomb manufactured by the US company Boeing. In all four attacks, Amnesty found no indication that the residential buildings hit could be considered legitimate military objectives or that the people in the buildings were military targets, raising serious concerns that the strikes were direct attacks on civilians and civilian objects and must therefore be investigated as war crimes.

Following publication of its Rafah research, Amnesty activists staged a vigil outside Downing Street during which verbatim testimonies from civilians in Rafah who had experienced devastating Israeli attacks on their homes were displayed. 

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