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ITF calls for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian corridor for lifesaving aid in Gaza

news Press Release 26 Oct 2023

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is calling for an immediate, United Nations enforced and guaranteed, ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and Israel, and genuine efforts towards a sustainable peace, including the immediate return of all hostages and establishment of humanitarian corridors to prevent further humanitarian catastrophe and loss of civilian lives.

As transport unions we have a proud history of standing on the side of oppressed people. Our Constitution and policies are built on principles of peace, justice, equal opportunity, anti-imperialism, democracy and sovereignty. We have a moral responsibility to objectively identify injustices and to work with all parties in the process of building a true and lasting peace. We ask all ITF affiliated unions to join us in speaking out for peace and taking action in the face of injustice as we have done historically.

The ITF refers to its statement on 9 October and reiterates that the only viable path to lasting peace is an end to the illegal occupation of Palestine and a two-state solution.

Almost 8,000 people have been killed since 7 October including 1,400 Israelis by Hamas and over 6,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by Israeli armed forces, with thousands feared missing beneath the rubble.

The situation in Gaza is dire. Israel has disconnected essential services including water, fuel and electricity and is blocking access to lifesaving aid and supplies. Hospitals are reportedly ceasing to function as water and fuel run out. Mosques, churches, schools and hospitals have been destroyed and 1.4 million people have been forced to flee their homes to escape the bombardment by the Israel Defense Forces.

The ITF supports the UN call for an unconditional humanitarian corridor into Gaza to provide immediate, adequate life-saving aid. Israel’s 16-year blockade of Gaza has left eight in 10 people dependent on international aid, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The UN estimates that about 100 trucks a day are needed to provide the essential needs in Gaza. Current aid entering Gaza falls far below what is needed.

Without immediate humanitarian aid corridors being opened to deliver lifesaving food, water, fuel and medical supplies, all lives in Gaza are at risk including innocent children, women and the elderly.

All governments and the international community must act for peace and cooperate with a view to preventing and halting international crimes. The historical context and root causes of the current crisis remain the fundamental issue that must be addressed. Lasting peace must be based on UN Security Council Resolution 242 and 338, with an end to the illegal occupation and a two-state solution.

The ITF is calling for:

  • An immediate ceasefire in Palestine and Israel to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and further loss of civilian lives.
  • The immediate and unconditional release of all civilian hostages, in accordance with international law.
  • Humanitarian aid corridors and the delivery of life saving aid to meet the needs of millions of people in Gaza.
  • All parties to respect international law to protect civilian lives.
  • The International Criminal Court and UN to activate mechanisms to prevent and end international crimes.
  • A political resolution and support from all governments for peace with the realisation of a two-state solution with an end to the siege of Gaza, illegal settlements and the occupation based on UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338.
  • We also reiterate demands from the global unions statement on 11 July to:

    - Demand that the UN intervenes to protect the lives of the people of Palestine, including through the use of Peacekeeping Forces.

    - Call on the global labour movement, under the leadership of the global unions, to consider and pursues all possible options to target and pressure companies, employers and investors that are involved in, or that facilitate the expansion and continuation of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.

We offer solidarity and support to the children, civilians and trade unionists affected by violence in Palestine and Israel, and to all members of our affiliates affected by this conflict.