On the 7th of October, Hamas committed war crimes against the people of Israel. Israel responded, in the same way they have for 75 years, with war crimes of their own. Since 1947, Israel has forced Palestinians from their land, regularly and systematically killed civilians, imposed racist apartheid systems, annexed Palestinian land, and denied Palestinians their human and civil rights. In 2007, the Israeli state placed a blockade upon the Gaza strip, and it has since become nothing short of an open-air prison, in which civilians face some of the worst living conditions in the world. They cannot leave, and are trapped by a land, sea and air blockade. Now, in an act of retaliation for the atrocities committed by Hamas, the state of Israel is punishing the people of Gaza. They are killing civilians indiscriminately in what is feared to be a second Nakba. This is a war crime.
As an anti-colonial, anti-racist human rights charity, RAPAR condemns the state of Israel for their continued human rights violations in Gaza and occupied Palestine. Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Heartland are denied the same human and civil rights as the Israeli citizens - not because of their religious beliefs, but because of their ethnicity. In Gaza, they have long since been denied the right to movement, safe drinking water and employment; now, they have been denied medical aid, electricity, and food too. As of the writing of this statement, over 8000 Palestinians have been killed by the indiscriminate bombing by the state of Israel so far - not only in the Gaza strip, but in the West Bank too, where Hamas is not present. These casualties include over 3300 children.
We also condemn the violence committed by Hamas against the people of Israel in the place where their forebearers sought refuge after the Nazi atrocities of WWII, and we call now for international intervention to address the corruptions and violences of the state of Israel, which have put the lives of its own citizens and all the people of Palestine in unthinkable peril. RAPAR demands that the UK government and the international community intervene and impose an immediate and absolute ceasefire; to allow for the entry of sufficient aid into Gaza, and lead to negotiations for a liberated and independent Palestine, and safety for Israeli civilians. We ask that in light of the US veto against the ceasefire put forward at the United Nations, the UK government step up. This is not a situation in which the UK may sit out a vote as they did. The UK government and international community have the power to pressure the state of Israel into a ceasefire, to protect civilians and to allow life-saving aid into Gaza. Their silence is complicity in a genocide started by British colonialism in 1947.
RAPAR also ask that the UK government demand that the state of Israel end their illegal occupation and annexation of Palestinian land, and dismantle the racist apartheid system that they have put in place. There are millions of displaced Palestinians around the world, who have been forced from Palestine since 1947 and are denied access to their homeland. RAPAR, as a charity for refugee, asylum seeking and displaced people, also call for the Right of Return for the displaced and stateless Palestinians.