Palestine campaigners escalate pressure on UK government over Gaza siege

Marwan Sultan in London,Tuesday 20 Jan 2015

Palestine Solidarity Campaign call on the British voters to urge their MPs to ask the government to work on ending Gaza blockade

PSC has been main organizer of series of protests in the UK against Gaza siege. (Photos by PSC)

Pro-Palestine activists have intensified their campaign to press the UK government to work to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip, warning of a deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the territory.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is asking British voters to contact their members of parliament immediately and ask them “to write to David Cameron urgently on your behalf …to urgently act to end Israel’s blockade.”

Israel is accused of committing war crimes during a military incursion into Gaza last year in July and August which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians. Tens of thousands of homes in Gaza were also destroyed or badly damaged.

More than 1.8 million Palestinians are suffering due to terrible winter weather conditions, combined with the ongoing siege and the constant attacks by the Israeli military, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said.

Thousands of people continue to live in houses that have not been repaired since the violence, or in makeshift shelters, leaving these civilians particularly exposed to the freezing conditions.

Reports by international organisations say over 700,000 truckloads of construction materials are urgently needed to rebuild the homes and schools the population need, but only a few hundred truckloads were allowed over the past six months.  

After the last Israeli war on Gaza, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1860 which obliges Israel to open Gaza’s port, and facilitate free movement of goods and people between Gaza and the West Bank.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign accused both Israel and the British government of not upholding the resolution which “obliges the UK government to provide arrangements and guarantees to bring this about.”

“The UK is quick to act when other countries breach UN Security Council resolutions on humanitarian access, but on Gaza, it has failed to go to the Security Council,” the campaign said in its appeal to the British voters.   

“MPs and the UK government received more correspondence on the Gaza than any other international issue, and MPs have been very vocal, yet ministers have been silent on Gaza for months and I cannot find any information about UK efforts to end the blockade,” the group said.

It calls on Parliament to seek compensation from Israel for damage its war has caused to British and EU-funded aid projects in Gaza.

The group is the largest pro-Palestinian organisation in the West and is supported by a large number of leading non-governmental and anti-war organisations, as well as senior political and parliamentary figures in the UK and Europe.  

The campaigning group will be taking part in organising and interactive conference on 14 March to “explore how best to support Palestinian human rights.”

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