PCS statement on Israel and Gaza

PCS is gravely concerned at the escalating violence between Israel and Hamas.

We are appalled by, and strongly condemn, the massacres of civilians and the taking of hostages in Israel that have been carried out by Hamas forces at a music festival and elsewhere.

The Israeli government’s response to the attack by Hamas – cutting off food, electricity and fuel from 2.4m people, including one million children, and the bombing of homes, schools, hospitals, and mosques – is horrifying and a form of collective punishment which is against international law.

We are appalled at the UK Government’s tacit approval for this collective punishment of people in Gaza and call on the UK government to condemn Israel for committing war crimes.

The responsibility of the Israeli government for the overall deterioration of the situation in Gaza and the occupied territories is clear, having openly denied the existence and rights of Palestinians.

We call for all sides, and the international community, to work to end the conflict. We believe that requires a two-state solution and an end to the systematic violence, discrimination and denial of rights that has been inflicted on the Palestinian people.

There will not be peace in the Middle East until there is a political settlement that includes a free and independent Palestine and an end to the occupation.

We are supporting the march and national demonstration in London on Saturday (14) called by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which begins at noon outside BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place.