UNISON condemns the resumption of violence in Gaza and calls for an immediate ceasefire

Health workers continue to risk their lives as they attempt to respond to the huge increase of those requiring treatment

UNISON centre sign

UNISON condemns the end of the humanitarian pause between the Israeli government and Hamas and the resumption of ground operations and bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli state.

For seven days the artillery and missiles largely fell silent, allowing just a fraction of the humanitarian assistance that is so desperately needed into the strip. Since then, hundreds more Palestinian civilians have been killed and homes destroyed.

Gaza’s healthcare system is only partially functioning, due to bomb damage, the killing of almost 200 health workers, and a shortage of medical supplies, electricity and clean water.

Health workers continue to risk their lives as they attempt to respond to the huge increase of those requiring treatment. The displacement of nearly 80% of the population of Gaza has created a public health crisis, with overcrowding and the lack of sanitation resulting in an increase in outbreaks of communicable diseases.

UNISON calls for an end to the targeting of civilians, refugee camps and critical public services, including healthcare, and calls on the Israeli government and Hamas to respect international law. The union reaffirms the right to public services, including clean water and sanitation.

UNISON condemns the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza and reaffirms its call for a ceasefire and full access to humanitarian assistance. We reiterate our condemnation of the heinous crimes by Hamas on 7 October and call for the immediate and safe release of all hostages.

UNISON also condemns any victimisation and harassment of Jewish and Arab anti-war protestors in Israel.  We condemn the use of sexual violence in war on any side.

UNISON calls for a renewed impetus from world leaders, including the UK government and the Opposition, for an immediate ceasefire, peace and a political solution to the crisis, resulting in an end to the occupation and a contiguous Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel. To that end, UNISON call on the British Government to recognise Palestine as an independent state.

Before the latest conflict, Gaza had one of the highest rates of unemployment in the world. Since then, a further 182,000 jobs have been lost, according to estimates from the International Labour Organisation. In the West Bank, at least 152,000 Palestinians have lost their jobs in Israel and the illegal settlements due to the closure of crossings and other restrictions on Palestinian workers. Increased restrictions on freedom of movement have also limited the ability of Palestinians to access work within the West Bank.

UNISON calls for an end to the punitive measures that undermine the Palestinian economy and the right to decent work, including the 17-year blockade of Gaza and restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement in the occupied West Bank.

UNISON continues to encourage branches and members organising around Palestine in their workplaces and encourages them to mobilise for both national and local protests.