Statement on Gaza from Alison Thewliss MP

I support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and have publicly spoken out on this at the demonstrations in Glasgow and in Parliament. Hospitals, schools, and humanitarian workers must never be a target in conflict. I support the immediate release of the hostages taken by Hamas following their brutal attack on the 7th of October. 

I have signed the following cross-party Early Day Motion in Parliament:

The SNP have led calls for a ceasefire, with First Minister Humza Yousaf MSP reiterating this view in recent days:

My SNP colleagues and I have tabled the following amendment to the King’s Speech, which will most likely be voted on in Parliament on today, Wednesday 15th November. 

Amendment (h): 

At end add ‘but respectfully regret that the Gracious Speech fails to include measures that would require the Government to uphold international law and protect all civilians in Israel and Palestine; unequivocally condemn the horrific killings by Hamas and the taking of hostages; reaffirm that there must be an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people; call for the urgent release of all hostages and an end to the siege of Gaza to allow vital supplies of food, fuel, medicine and water to reach the civilian population; note the growing calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire from the United Nations and its aid agencies; and therefore call on the Government to join with the international community in urgently pressing all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.’

Given the very grave humanitarian situation in Gaza, I was glad to see the Scottish Government has pledged £750,000 to UNRWA. This is an important commitment, but it only goes a small way to help those in need. There is a need for the international community to do more to commit to support those desperately in need, and also for routes to be established to allow that aid to get in to Gaza. It cannot be right that the Secretary General of the United Nations has had to go to the Rafah crossing and plead for aid trucks to be allowed in.

I fully support the investigation of all war crimes, and believe that those who have perpetrated such acts must be held to account.  

I am deeply concerned about the continued supply of arms to Israel. This happens in a context where the UK Parliamentary committee which is supposed to scrutinise this – the Joint Committee on Arms Export Controls –  has not met this year. I raised this on Tuesday during the Statement on Gaza:

My colleague Brendan O’Hara, the SNP’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson also raised wider concerns over the situation and called again for a ceasefire:

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