Israel must immediately stop attacks on Palestinian territories which have already killed hundreds of innocent people, including children, said the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) today. The global union federation also reiterated its call for the immediate cessation of violence in Israel and Palestine.
Since hostilities intensified on May 10, at least 212 Palestinians have reportedly been killed, including at least 61 children. Rocket fire from Gaza into Israel has also killed 10 Israeli civilians. The ITF mourns the loss of all these lives.
The ITF today denounced the destruction and bloodshed following targeted attacks by Israeli forces on several residential buildings and offices, including those of news organisations Al Jazeera and the Associated Press in Gaza.
Paddy Crumlin, President of the ITF, today condemned the Israeli aggression which has killed and injured hundreds of unarmed Palestinians, and the destruction of homes which has displaced 40,000 people.
“The attacks by Israeli military are clearly in breach of international law. The bombing of people’s homes and press offices is not a military activity. This is plainly and simply another attack designed to do nothing other than intimidate innocent Palestinians,” said Crumlin.
“The report of children and other civilians being killed and maimed in this latest escalation of unwarranted violence is overwhelming. The actions amount to nothing other than gross violations of international humanitarian law and should be considered war crimes.”
“The extension of the attack to the international media is an extension of the violent intimidation, with a view of censoring journalists,” said Crumlin. “This is an extraordinary attempt to limit media’s reporting of these atrocities to the world.”
Nations must denounce the violence and act to remind Israel of its moral, ethical and legal obligation to protect civilian lives.
“The international community must pressure Israel to tackle the root causes of the latest violence: the planned illegal and unjust displacement, dispossession and eviction of Palestinians from their lands like those in Sheikh Jarrah; the injustices of the Israeli occupation; the blockade of Gaza; and impunity for historic war crimes and violations of international law,” said Crumlin.
“The vicious circle of violence must stop. Governments, political parties, and armed groups must urgently agree to a ceasefire and process for meaningful dialogue,” concluded Crumlin.
The ITF supports calls from ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow for the UN Security Council to act to end the devastating loss of civilian life resulting from the unjust and illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.
“The only acceptable and sustainable solution is the full implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions aimed at ending the occupation, with negotiations bringing about the existence of two sovereign states: Palestine and Israel,” said Burrow.