Just written to my MEPs, all of them, on Gaza…
Dear Rebecca Taylor, Linda McAvan, Timothy Kirkhope, Edward McMillan-Scott and Godfrey Bloom and Andrew Brons,
I write to you on the dreadful and continuing situation in Gaza.
Despite Israel’s defenders, the current escalation around Gaza has nothing to do with security and will increase insecurity in the region. Israel is publicly threatening to escalate the situation further even with a ground invasion. Israeli authorities are claiming to have killed 95 people. This includes 9 members of one family, including several children.
The EU should use its position in this.
The EU is the largest multi-lateral donor to the Palestinian Authorities and also Israel’s largest trading partner.
I ask you to call for an arms embargo. No-one should be selling arms in the area, not to any side, nor to linked countries. Nor should we be buying arms there, as Israel is an arms producer.
The EU-Israel Association Agreement has a Human Rights clause. I ask you to call for this to be invoked and to suspend the Agreement.
People have a right to live in peace, free from attack. Children should be able to sleep through the night free from air-raids, sonic booms or rocket attacks.
Attacking civilian populations is a crime: there should be no impunity – whoever is responsible.
Finally please call for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to resume. These cover a longer-term ceasefire, opening the Rafah crossing and helping to boost the economy of Gaza – which needs it given a 30% unemployment rate there.
Any progress has now been halted – again.
The international community must take action. It is not enough to simply secure a ceasefire.