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Plaid Cymru calls for ‘unequivocal’ statement from Welsh Government on Gaza

24 Apr 2024 3 minute read
First Minister Vaughan Gething – Image: Senedd Cymru

Emily Price

Vaughan Gething is being urged to clarify the government’s stance on a ceasefire in Gaza, following his supportive comments in the Senedd, despite abstaining in a debate calling for a halt to fighting last year.

Plaid Cymru says the comments from the newly appointed First Minister represent “a change in policy by the Labour Government”.

A debate calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip was held in the Senedd on November 8 2023.

Ministers in the Welsh Government, including the then Economy Minister Vaughan Gething, abstained and offered backbenchers a free vote.

The motion, which condemned the attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians, and the Israeli government’s “indiscriminate attacks on Gaza”, was carried by 24 votes to 19 with 13 Senedd members abstaining.

Support

In the Senedd this week, South East Wales MS, Peredur Owen Griffiths, raised the issue of support for families of those in Wales who had lost loved ones in the conflict including those killed in the October 7 attack by Hamas.

In his question on Tuesday (April 23), Mr Griffiths asked: “Does he now agree with Members on the Plaid Cymru benches that an immediate ceasefire is the only way to guarantee the end of the bloodshed, for the return of the hostages, and an end to the famine we are seeing in Gaza?”

The First Minister replied: “It’s been the position of the Welsh Government for some time that there should be an immediate ceasefire.”

Conflict

The Plaid Cymru MS is now calling for an urgent “unequivocal” statement confirming the Welsh Government’s position.

Mr Griffiths said: “Ever since the October attacks, Plaid Cymru has been calling for an end to the violence in Gaza and Israel, for the return of hostages and an immediate ceasefire in this escalating conflict.

“Labour – both at UK level and in Wales – have obfuscated and tinkered with the wording of parliamentary motions put forward by Plaid Cymru and others.

“We welcome the First Minister’s comments in the Senedd that there needs to be an immediate ceasefire in Gaza but were confused by his assertion that it has been the position of the Government for ‘some time.’

“I – and many anti-war campaigners – have missed this previous assertion by the Welsh Government that an immediate ceasefire is needed and would appreciate clarity on when this was made.

“We know that all Welsh Government ministers abstained when Plaid Cymru gave them the chance in November to support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

“Since then, over 30,000 innocent Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, many in bombed hospitals and schools, and so much infrastructure has been destroyed, along with many sites of cultural significance.”

He added: “This war is having an effect here in Wales too. As I raised today, so many people in Wales have family who are trapped in Gaza, many relatives have been killed and many are facing starvation. They must be supported by the Welsh Government wherever possible.

“Given everyone missed the Welsh Government’s previous support for an immediate ceasefire, it is essential that an unequivocal statement is issued urgently by them to add weight to the growing international community outraged by the death and destruction ongoing in Gaza.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said the First Minister had been “clear” on his position regarding Gaza and there is nothing further to add.


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Mike Hedges
Mike Hedges
29 days ago

As one of those in the Senedd who vote for aceasefire, it would ot have passed without Labour votes

Riki
Riki
29 days ago

Yes, and only two words needed, FREE PALESTINE!!!

Welshman28
Welshman28
29 days ago

What on earth will it mean by the senedd voting for ceasefire. Surely more importantly things to be done. Waste of public time

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