On Tuesday, Al-Ahli hospital in the Gaza Strip was bombed, killing over 500 sick and injured Palestinians, doctors, nurses and refugees sheltering from apartheid Israel’s ongoing bombardment. Israel’s war on Gaza has now left over 3,500 Palestinians dead, and over 13,000 injured.
Amid this horrific loss of life, the UK government and opposition are failing to demand a ceasefire to stop the bloodshed, uphold international law and protect Palestinian lives, or even to call out Israel for its war crimes. John, will you demand that all UK political leaders call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to Israel’s deadly siege of Gaza?
Israel’s apartheid regime is carrying out militarised violence on the Palestinian people on an unthinkable scale. In just one week, between 7-12 October, Israel dropped over 6,000 bombs on the Palestinian people living under its illegal occupation.
The Israeli military is now denying responsibility for the massacre at Al-Ahli hospital – after Israeli officials initially claimed responsibility for the attack. Israeli forces had previously shelled the hospital on Saturday (14 October), after which Palestinian health officials received a warning call from the Israeli military to evacuate the hospital, along with five others.
Israel has acted with impunity throughout its ongoing, decades-long violent occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory. Israel’s apartheid and occupation regime routinely lies to hide its war crimes — and enable these crimes to continue. Time after time, from the bombing of children on the beaches of Gaza in 2014, to the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in 2022, to the strike on fleeing Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip just last week, these lies have been disproved. Israel has also banned human rights groups and UN human rights officials from investigating its crimes.
Before Tuesday’s attack, the Israeli military had bombed 16 Palestinian hospitals across the past 11 days, including attacking a children’s hospital with white phosphorous – a banned substance causing severe burns and uncontrollable fires. Israel has also attacked what it called ‘evacuation corridors’ out of Gaza, killing fleeing Palestinian civilians, aid workers and journalists. The international community must work to uphold international law, and protect Palestinians from this brutal onslaught.
Our political leaders, including the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and the leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer, have emboldened Israel’s war crimes by offering uncritical and ‘unequivocal support’ to Israel — as it accelerates its mass ethnic cleansing and collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
The situation has never been more urgent. In the words of the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), “Gaza is running out of life”. As vital resources run out and Gaza’s health infrastructure – already battered by Israel’s 16 year-long blockade and periodic bombardment – ‘collapse before our eyes’, Gaza’s remaining hospitals are turning into morgues.
Last weekend, on Saturday 14 October, hundreds of thousands of people marched in London, across the country — and across the world — in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and to demand an end to Israel’s war on Gaza. Now, after vocal pressure from citizens of conscience, the UK government and opposition are belatedly rolling back on the most extreme rhetoric. The pressure we have created together is working. John, will you keep it up?
The UK government has pledged to increase aid to the Gaza Strip, with UK PM Rishi Sunak stating that “we must support the Palestinian people”. But without urgent action to end Israel’s ongoing bombardment and siege of the Gaza Strip — which includes a total blockade on aid, food, water, electricity and medicine — this pledge is effectively meaningless.
The UK government must do everything in its power to support the Palestinian people. As Palestinians have made clear, support means calling for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the blockade to allow aid and humanitarian access, and protection from ethnic cleansing. Ending UK complicity with Israel’s illegal occupation and apartheid regime is at the root of this.
We must keep up the pressure. John, will you sign our petition to demand urgent action from both the UK government and the opposition to stop Israel from carrying out genocide?
Join us on the streets again in London this Saturday 21 October from 12pm, to increase the pressure on the UK government and show the Palestinian people they are not alone.
War on Want