FM: UK Government’s repeated refusal to call for an immediate ceasefire is shameful
First Minister Humza Yousaf has urged the UK Government to use its position as a trusted ally of the Government of Israel to demand an end to “indiscriminate attacks” that have seen thousands of children in Gaza killed. He has made it clear that those responsible for killing civilians must be held accountable.
Ten weeks since Israel’s invasion of Gaza the First Minister said the UK Government’s refusal to call for an immediate ceasefire is “shameful”.
The First Minister’s latest call comes as the United Nations has expressed concern up to 1.9 million internally displaced people are moving into smaller and smaller pockets in the Gaza Strip. The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) for Palestinian Refugees has warned that 40% of the population of Gaza is now at risk of famine due to “catastrophic hunger”, and the latest Integrated food security Phase Classification (IPC) brief shows Gaza is experiencing a food security emergency driven by ongoing hostilities.
Responding to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the region, the First Minister said diplomatic approaches have so far failed to bring about any change and an immediate ceasefire was needed.
The First Minister said:
“The time has come for the UK Government to speak out forcefully and make it clear that Israeli action has gone way beyond a legitimate response to the appalling Hamas attack of 7 October.
“Hearing comments from an Israeli Government Minister urging displacement of Palestinians from Gaza is deeply disturbing and should be universally condemned. Gaza is Occupied Palestinian Territory and will be part of a future Palestinian state - Gazans should not be subject to forcible displacement or relocation from Gaza.
“The UK Government must make clear that Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israeli Ministers and military commanders will be held accountable for the killing of thousands of innocent civilians and the deaths of tens of thousands more from starvation and disease if Israel does not immediately cease indiscriminate attacks and allow aid to enter Gaza on the scale needed to avert a humanitarian disaster. Hamas leaders must also be held accountable for the appalling attacks against Israeli civilians on 7 October.
“Talk of a sustainable ceasefire from the UK Government has made no difference on the ground, as the situation has worsened for the people of Gaza. The UK Government must use its voice and influence to stop the killing – directly with the Israeli government, and indirectly with the US.”
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