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Parties must unite behind Gaza ceasefire call – Plaid Cymru

28 Oct 2023 4 minute read
Plaid Cymru leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth

Plaid Cymru leader, Rhun ap Iorwerth has urged all parties to unite behind calls for an immediate ceasefire as Israeli operations in Gaza intensify.

Mr ap Iorwerth’s intervention comes as Israel’s military continued to expand its ground operation in Gaza on Saturday, as part of its ongoing retaliation against Hamas’s deadly raids three weeks ago that left 1,400 people, mainly civilians, dead.

The Hamas-controlled Gazan health ministry saying more than 7,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict, sparking growing demands for a ceasefire among politicians, amid fears of a humanitarian crisis.

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, has also called for the UK Parliament to be  recalled in order to keep pressure on the UK Government and the Official Opposition to call for a ceasefire.

Parliament is currently prorogued, or closed down, in preparation for the King’s Speech on 7 November.

Desperate

Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “As the attacks on Gaza intensify, the humanitarian situation becomes even more desperate.

“The international community must not lose sight of its moral duty to uphold international law and do everything possible to protect the hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians trapped in this conflict.

“An immediate ceasefire, release of hostages, safe aid corridors, and the restoration of vital communications channels must be the priority and I urge all parties in the UK to unite behind this call.”

Liz Saville Roberts added: “As Israel escalates its ground operation to a scale never seen before, Gaza is experiencing a humanitarian disaster.

“Westminster is in recess next week which means no opportunity even to demand updates from the Government in the House nor through written questions.

“The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition will continue to evade calls for a ceasefire unless Parliament is recalled.”

Massive strikes

A spokesman for Tel Aviv’s military on Saturday said infantry and armoured vehicles were being backed by “massive” strikes from the air and sea in a sign it could be moving closer to an all-out invasion of Gaza.

As part of the stepped-up bombardment of the 25-mile stretch, Israel also knocked out communications and created a near-blackout of information, largely cutting off the 2.3 million people in besieged Gaza from contact with the outside world.

Dismissing calls for a ceasefire in the conflict, despite the escalation, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that Hamas has given no indication it “desires or would abide by calls for a ceasefire”.

Mr Cleverly said “calls for a ceasefire in the abstract aren’t going to help the situation”.

The UK Government’s position, backed by Labour and Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer, has been to push for “humanitarian pauses” to allow aid into Gaza and to allow people, including 200 trapped British nationals, to escape the territory.

The Foreign Secretary told broadcasters: “We have consistently sought to bring about pauses to facilitate the inward passage of humanitarian aid that we are providing and the release of hostages and the evacuation of British nationals in Gaza, so that has been our position from the start.

“Of course we want to see this resolved, we want to see Israel safe, peaceful and secure.

“But, as yet, I have seen or heard nothing from Hamas that gives me any confidence that they desire or would abide by calls for a ceasefire.”

He said the Palestinian militant group “habitually embed military capabilities within civilian infrastructure” in a move he said was “internationally recognised” as “completely inappropriate”.

Mr Cleverly reiterated the Government’s position that Israel has a right to defend itself after Hamas’s attack on October 7.

“Of course we are having conversations and will continue to have conversations with the Israeli military about the preservation of civilian life, about the adherence to international law,” he added.

“But they do have a right to self-defence and throughout this operation, since the atrocities of October 7, Hamas and other terrorist organisations have consistently bombarded Israel from Gaza, from among civilian infrastructure.”


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Sian
Sian
6 months ago

Plaid Cymru are not alone in asking for peace. There were several high profile resignations from Labour yesterday. No one can condone what happened on 7th October, it was heartbreaking. Similar condemnation should have happened when the IDF killed & maimed innocent Palestinian citizens prior to the attack. The IDF have already killed 7000 Palestinians since 7th. This isn’t defence it’s revenge on a massive scale. Surely 1 Palestinian life should be equivalent to 1 Israeli life. The Palestinians shouldn’t be seen as inferior “human animals”. How many more innocent people are going to die? Peace talks have to be… Read more »

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
6 months ago
Reply to  Sian

It’s frankly shameful that Labour’s UK leader (Keir Starmer) and it’s leader in Wales (Mark Drakeford) have been silent on the humanitarian catastrophe presently unfolding in Gaza.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

Totally agree with Rhun ap Iorwerth.. All parties must unite behind a ceasefire. We can’t turn a blind eye to war crimes or the genocide of innocient Palestinian civilians by Israel in their pursuit of murderous Hamas. There must be another way or the civilian death toll will be on holocaust proportions.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
6 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

If Israel wants to live in peace with Palestinians it will need to elect a Government that believes in peace. The current far right bunch appear to be wholly committed to the Greater Israel from the River to the Sea “vision.” If Palestinians are to give up on Hamas then they need to be offered a “vision” that involves justice and peace without the need for ‘armed struggle’. Fortunately, there are voices in Israel and around the world who are making that case, but the major Governments do seem to be reluctant to call out Israel’s revenge attacks.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
6 months ago

Well said Rhun. Nice to see a party leader showing some compassion and statesmanship in the face of the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza. What a contrast to the silence of both Keir Starmer and Mark Drakeford

Alun Gerrard
Alun Gerrard
6 months ago

Israel have said that they will talk peace if the hostages are released. There are about 220 hostages including British, German, American. Some have already been executed by Hamas. Hamas will not release the hostages in one go but they may drip feed the return as some are dead by their hands. It is important that this is done but I have not heard any news about them from the UK Government. I hear that the SAS and the German equivalent are out there. This would not be acceptable to some people. This sort of politics started by the PLO… Read more »

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
6 months ago

So it’s acceptable for Ukrainian military forces to establish bases and weapons systems within residential areas, including schools and hospitals, but it’s a terrorist act for Hamas to “apparently” do similar.

hdavies15
hdavies15
6 months ago

Lot of double standards when it comes to the views of politicians about the various conflicts around the world. Russia bad – Ukraine good, Israel bad – Hamas good, you can go on like that for ever. No monopoly on moral high ground. In fact as soon as a nation sells armaments to any other nations the moral high ground disappears in a puff.

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