MEND Statement: When is a ceasefire not a ceasefire? The UK government plays with words whilst Gaza burns
Categories: Latest News
Wednesday December 20 2023
MEND strongly condemns the UK government’s continued refusal to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, despite the mounting devastation of Palestinian land and lives.
In an article for The Times, Foreign Minister David Cameron called for a “sustainable ceasefire” in Gaza, but clarified: “We do not believe that calling right now for a general and immediate ceasefire, hoping it somehow becomes permanent, is the way forward”.
Beyond Cameron’s feeble recognition that “too many [Palestinian] civilians have been killed”, nowhere is the Israeli government condemned for the sheer devastation and mass atrocities they have inflicted on Gaza and its population. Rather, Cameron reiterates Israel’s right to self-defense.
The Prime Minister himself continues to refuse calling for a ceasefire and refuses to condemn Israel for its violation of international humanitarian law. When questioned where responsibility lay for the number of civilian deaths, Rishi Sunak told MPs at the Liaison Committee that Israel is trying to defend itself and Hamas must accept responsibility for deliberately embedding themselves inside civilian populations.
Israeli forces have killed almost 20,000 Palestinians and displaced more than 80% of Gaza’s population. They have destroyed homes, hospitals and key infrastructure. Reports have emerged of widespread starvation and disease. The extent of the humanitarian crisis has been highlighted by a number of international human rights organisations who have described what they have seen as a “bloodbath” and warned that Gazan society is on the brink of collapse.
MEND calls on the UK government to heed this worldwide pressure, acknowledge the extent of Israeli atrocities in Gaza and call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.