We also call on the international community to provide urgently needed humanitarian aid to Gaza, including food, water, medical aid and generators. However, the only way for there to be a lasting peace and mutual understanding between the people of Israel and Palestine is for the occupation and blockade of the Palestinian territories to end.
The ITUC therefore calls on all governments to help broker an immediate, negotiated cease-fire. Attacks on civilians are against international law and we support the UN call for accountability and justice. Therefore, we call for an immediate ban of all transfers of weapons, directly or indirectly.
But it cannot end there. The international community, not just the US and Egypt, must take immediate action to force the parties to the table and conclude a negotiated settlement that ends the occupation and that instils in both sides confidence in security and mutual respect.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin commented: “The situation in Gaza is horrendous; a human and avoidable tragedy. There is worldwide agreement that a ceasefire must happen immediately, and it must be followed by change to tackle head on the longstanding causes behind this latest episode of this horrible conflict.”
Steve Cotton, ITF acting general secretary added: “If the combatants won’t listen to reason then we all have a duty to make them. Trade unions are part of that worldwide push for an end to the bloodletting and a proper and just peace. We are also carrying out our humanitarian duty of supplying emergency aid to Gaza, and I encourage trade unionists everywhere to get involved in helping. One way that they can do that today is by supporting the ITF Gaza relief fund (www.itfgazafund.org), which has already sent one shipment of medical supplies, with more to follow.”