LABOUR: DRAFT MOTION FOR GAZA

Attention all Labour Party and Momentum members:

Below is a draft Motion on Gaza.

We need to get as many branches and CLPs to pass it or a motion to the same effect as a matter of emergency.

Why is this an emergency?

  1. Gaza is on the brink of becoming unviable for large-scale human inhabitation. 96 percent of its water is unsafe for human consumption and its water table is nearing the threshold of irreversible damage. The United Nations has warned for years that Gaza may become literally ‘unliveable’ by 2020, an assessment shared by the head of Israel’s Military Intelligence. A recent UN update concluded that this was overly optimistic and that the point of unviability may be reached before 2020.
  2. Further rounds of nonviolent demonstration in Gaza have been scheduled. Israel has not rescinded its policy authorising resort to violent and lethal force against demontrators who pose no imminent threat. The only protection, the only armour, the only defence these unarmed protesters have as they approach the wall of Israeli snipers is international indignation, which might restrain Israel’s repression.
  3. Palestinians have for decades been urged from afar to practice nonviolent resistance. The current experiment in Gaza will inevitably be viewed as a ‘test case’ of the efficacy of a nonviolent approach: its success or failure will help determine the character of future efforts to bring the occupation to an end. But as a Guardian article put it: ‘Palestinian non-violence requires global non-silence’. The people of Gaza are depending on us to make a nonviolent strategy viable in this, their hour of need.

Please work to pass a motion in your branches and meetings showing solidarity with the people of Gaza as soon as possible.

The text below can be used as a template.

EMERGENCY MOTION ON GAZA

Israeli Army’s unlawful killing and maiming of peaceful Palestinian protesters

This meeting notes:

– For more than ten weeks, tens of thousands of Palestinians have engaged in mass and overwhelmingly nonviolent protests in the Gaza Strip.

– The Government of Israel has responded with heavy repression. As of 7 June 2018, more than 100 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli forces in the course of the demonstrations, including at least 12 children, while more than 3,700 Palestinians had been shot with live ammunition. [1]

– Médecins Sans Frontières doctors in Gaza have reported ‘receiving patients with devastating injuries of an unusual severity’ while Amnesty International has observed that many injuries ‘bear the hallmarks of US-manufactured M24 Reminton sniper rifles shooting 7.62mm hunting ammunition, which expand and mushroom inside the body.’ [2]

– Amnesty International affirmed that, as of 8 June 2018, it had ‘not seen evidence of the use of firearms by Palestinians against Israeli soldiers during the protests’. [3]

– In the course of the protests, between 30 March and 7 June 2018, one Israeli soldier reportedly sustained ‘light injuries’ after being ‘struck by a rock’. [4]

– B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, has found that ‘Israeli soldiers have been shooting at unarmed demonstrators who pose no danger . . . An order to open live fire at unarmed civilians is manifestly illegal’. [5]

– Amnesty International has renewed its call on governments worldwide to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel following the country’s illegal response to the mass demonstrations. [6]

– A Human Rights Watch investigation concluded that Israel’s use of lethal force against Palestinian demonstrators ‘may amount to war crimes’ and called upon third-parties to ‘impose targeted sanctions’ against Israeli officials. [7]

– The nonviolent demonstrations have occurred in the context of Israel’s illegal siege of Gaza, which the United Nations warns risks making Gaza phyisically ‘unliveable’ by 2020. [8]

– International human rights and humanitarian organisations have condemned Israel’s blockade of Gaza as a ‘collective punishment’ (International Committee of the Red Cross) imposed ‘in flagrant violation of international law’ (Amnesty International). [9]

– The European Parliament in April 2018 overwhelmingly demanded ‘an immediate and unconditional end of the blockade and closure of the Gaza Strip’. [10]

– A UN Human Rights Council inquiry, authored by a New York state judge, likewise called for the blockade of Gaza to be lifted ‘immediately and unconditionally’. [11]

– Labour MPs have sponsored Early Day Motions calling on the UK Government to condemn Israel’s massacre of unarmed protestors and urging a suspension of UK arms exports to Israel. [12]

– Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has condemned Israel’s ‘slaughter’ of ‘unarmed protestors’ as an ‘outrage’, demanded international ‘action’ to hold Israel to account for its ‘flagrant illegality’, called for ‘an end to the . . . siege of Gaza’ and stressed Labour’s commitment to ‘reviewing UK arms sales to Israel while these violations continue’. [13]

– Shadow Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary Emily Thornberry has condemned Israel’s ‘vicious and utterly avoidable slaughter’ and called for ‘urgent and concerted international pressure’ on Israel to ‘lift the blockade on Gaza’ and ‘end Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories’. [14]

– The United Kingdom issued export licenses for £216 million worth of arms to Israel in 2017, including sale of sniper rifles. [15]

This meeting believes:

– Palestinians’ right to protest peacefully has been grossly violated.

– We must condemn in the strongest possible terms the use by the armed forces of the State of Israel of violent and lethal force against peaceful protestors as well as Israel’s illegal, immoral and inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip.

– Amnesty International is right to warn that: ‘The time for symbolic statements of condemnation is now over. The international community must act concretely and stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to Israel. A failure to do so will continue to fuel serious human rights abuses against thousands of men, women and children suffering the consequences of life under Israel’s cruel blockade of Gaza.’ [16]

– B’Tselem is right to call on the international community to ‘do all in its power—and its responsibility—in order to protect Palestinian lives and uphold international norms’. [17]

This meeting resolves to call on [[LOCAL MP]] and the Parliamentary Labour Party to:            

– Sign Early Day Motions 1163 (‘Violence Against Protestors in Gaza’), 1305 (‘UK Arms Exports to Israel’) and 1318 (‘Condemnation of the Massacre of Palestinian Protestors Along the Gaza Fence’).

– Call for an independent international investigation into Israel’s use of force against Palestinian demonstrators;

– Call for a freeze of UK Government arms sales to Israel pending the results of such an investigation;

– Call for an immediate and unconditional end to the illegal blockade and closure of Gaza.

__

[1] Figures reported by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: https://www.ochaopt.org/sites/default/files/hummonitor_may_04_06_2018_final.pdf

[2] Médecins Sans Frontières (19 April 2018), http://www.msf.org/en/article/palestine-msf-teams-gaza-observe-unusually-severe-and-devastating-gunshot-injuries; Amnesty International (27 April 2018), https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/04/israel-arms-embargo-needed-as-military-unlawfully-kills-and-maims-gaza-protesters/

[3] https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/7xm75d/debunking-myths-about-the-palestinian-protests

[4] https://www.timesofisrael.com/clashes-erupt-along-gaza-israel-border-ahead-of-us-embassy-inauguration/

[5] B’Tselem, ‘If the Heart Be Not Callous: On the Unlawful Shooting of Unarmed Demonstrators in Gaza’ (April 2018), p. 7.

[6] Amnesty International (27 April 2018), https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/04/israel-arms-embargo-needed-as-military-unlawfully-kills-and-maims-gaza-protesters/

[7] Human Rights Watch, ‘Israel: Apparent War Crimes in Gaza’ (13 June 2018), https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/13/israel-apparent-war-crimes-gaza

[8] UN Country Team in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, ‘Gaza Ten Years Later’ (July 2017), p. 3, https://unsco.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/gaza_10_years_later_-_11_july_2017.pdf

[9] International Committee of the Red Cross, ‘Gaza Closure: Not Another Year!’ (14 June 2010), https://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/update/palestine-update-140610.htm ; Amnesty International, ‘Suffocating Gaza – the Israeli blockade’s effects on Palestinians’ (1 June 2010), https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2010/06/suffocating-gaza-israeli-blockades-effects-palestinians/

[10] http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2fEP%2f%2fTEXT%2bMOTION%2bP8-RC-2018-0191%2b0%2bDOC%2bXML%2bV0%2f%2fEN&language=EN

[11] UN Human Rights Council, ‘Inquiry into the 2014 Gaza Conflict’ (2015), para. 681(d).

[12] https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/1163https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/1305https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/1318

[13] https://www.facebook.com/JeremyCorbynMP/posts/10156442004773872

[14] https://twitter.com/EmilyThornberry/status/996057563794984960

[15] http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-uk-sells-more-500m-arms-israel-including-sniper-rifles-718473139

[16] Amnesty International (27 April 2018), https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/04/israel-arms-embargo-needed-as-military-unlawfully-kills-and-maims-gaza-protesters/

[17] Letter from B’Tselem to UN Secretary General António Guterres (26 April 2018), https://www.btselem.org/sites/default/files2/publication/20180426_GazaKillings_B’TselemLetter_engv

 

 

One comment

  1. Norma Ferrie · · Reply

    America will arm them there has also got to be an international condemnation of the USA in their support of Israels ilegal occupation and inhumane treatment of Palestinians, Israel will ignore as it has been doing for 70yrs any condemnation of its conduct whilst it has the backing of the USA

    Liked by 1 person

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