UNISON joins the international trade union movement, including the International Trade Union Confederation, in condemning the appalling violence against civilians in Israel and Gaza. We send our condolences to all those who mourn the loss of loved ones and call for the immediate safe release of those who have been kidnapped.
Israel has been devastated by a brutal and heinous attack that has claimed the lives of many hundreds of innocent civilians. Gaza is being subjected to an intensification of the 16-year blockade, with access to water, electricity, medication and food being denied by the Israeli government. The resumption of an indiscriminate bombing campaign has already claimed thousands of civilian lives.
The killing of Israeli civilians by Hamas and the collective punishment of the people of Gaza by the Israeli government will do nothing to end the occupation and bring about peace. It risks exacerbating tensions in the region and worsening the crisis for millions of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
We urge Hamas and the Israeli government to respect international law and call on the international community to ensure human rights are protected. The need for peace, a viable two–state solution and the implementation of United Nations resolutions have never been greater.