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Organisations from across Wales call on Mark Drakeford to support Gaza Strip ceasefire

07 Nov 2023 4 minute read
IDF soldiers operating in Gaza. Photo by Israel Defense Forces is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Organisations from across Wales have called on the First Minister, Mark Drakeford to support a ceasefire in Gaza and peace and justice for the people of Israel and Palestine.

In an open letter to the First Minister, which has been signed by 46 organisations, including the Muslim Council of Wales, Welsh Labour Grassroots, the Cardiff Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Race Alliance Wales, Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Cymdeithas y Cymod (the Fellowship of Reconciliation), the Government is urged to support a ceasefire, along with rights for Palestinians and humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip.

The letter comes before Senedd Members debate and vote on a motion for a ceasefire introduced by Plaid Cymru on Wednesday (8 November).

So far, the First Minister has refused to support a ceasefire, declaring support instead for a ‘humanitarian pause’ as advocated by the leader of the UK Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer, a measure which the signatories to the letter call “insufficient”.

They are calling on the First Minister and all Members of the Senedd to vote in favour of a full ceasefire instead.

The letter calls on Mr Drakeford to publicly declare support for a ceasefire; opening emergency routes for humanitarian aid; an investigation into war crimes; a commitment to peace negotiations; and an end to the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories and the oppression of the Palestinian people, with a commitment to justice and peace for all citizens of Israel and Palestine.

Nation of Sanctuary

Josef Gnagbo, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith said: “The Welsh Government has introduced the principle of Wales as a Nation of Sanctuary, and this is the opportunity for that principle to mean something.

“Thousands of innocent people have already been killed and as the fighting and violence continues the task of finding a lasting peaceful settlement becomes even more important. We have a duty to join the international call for peace, and the range of organisations that have signed the letter shows the widespread support for that call in Wales.

“The Scottish and Irish Governments have already called for a ceasefire. Several other prominent leaders in the Labour Party, including Anas Sarwar, Sadiq Khan, Andy Burnham and his own Health Minister, Eluned Morgan, have already made principled stands of their own. Which side of history will our First Minister and Government here in Wales be on?”

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have also backed calls for an immediate ceasefire to the ongoing conflict in Gaza today, amid increasing concern about civilian casualties.

About a third of Senedd members have so far backed calls to bring an immediate ceasefire to a conflict which has claimed the lives of over 7,000 civilians on both sides.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are now calling for an immediate ceasefire to the conflict, so that desperately needed medical and food aid is allowed into Gaza.

The leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:On behalf of the Welsh Liberal Democrats I would like to join my colleagues in the Senedd in calling for an immediate ceasefire to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

“I am very concerned about the further escalation of violence in Gaza and I believe that an immediate ceasefire must be agreed upon so that we can work towards implementing a long-term two state solution.

“Innocent civilians, including thousands of children, are being put at risk in a conflict which has already claimed the lives of over 7,000 people.

“Now is the time for an immediate ceasefire to the war, so that desperately needed medical and food aid is allowed into Gaza.

“The people of Gaza and Israel do not deserve to suffer death and destruction, they deserve a just peace”.

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5 months ago

Is Mark Drakeford hoping to stay in Keir Starmer ‘s good books because he thinks he might be in line to be ennobled by him as PM?

Another Richard
Another Richard
5 months ago

I hope Mr Drakeford will have the good sense to remain on the right side of history, and resist the urgings of simpletons to dabble in foreign policy in this way.

5 months ago

Absolutely, any isreali Moral high ground they may have had (I don’t think they had any to begin with) no longer exists due to insane amount of Civilian deaths, especially children. The fact they want a total blackout in Gaza says everything!

Steffan ap Huw
Steffan ap Huw
5 months ago

One word from Mark Drakeford, and both Hamas and the IDF will lay down their arms, and embrace in an everlasting friendship. Or, in the real world, anything Mr. Drakeford says will have not the slightest impact on a long-festering problem thousands of miles away.

Perhaps I’m too old, but I cannot fathom at all the clamour for what amounts to nothing but virtue-signalling. Why should Drakeford say anything?

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