Senedd to vote on Israel-Gaza ceasefire motion
The Senedd is set to vote on a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel.
The Plaid Cymru motion, to be debated today (Wednesday 7 November), calls for an immediate ceasefire to “end the appalling attacks on innocent civilians”.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said that his party condemned the “horrifying attacks carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians” on October 7.
He has called for the “immediate release of hostages” and also condemned “the Israeli Government’s indiscriminate attacks on Gaza and the collective punishment of thousands of innocent Palestinians”.
An immediate ceasefire, he said, was needed to “end the appalling attacks on innocent civilians”, allow aid agencies to deliver “vital care” to the thousands suffering in the Gaza Strip, and to enable the region to move towards long-lasting peace.
Mr ap Iorwerth said it was important the Senedd united behind a call for a ceasefire to send a “clear message” for “humanity and peace”.
He thanked Labour and Liberal Democrat Senedd members who had already pledged to vote in favour of the motion.
Thus far, Mark Drakeford has supported the position taken by the UK Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer who has resisted pressure from within his own party to call for a ceasefire, instead urging both parties in the conflict to agree to a humanitarian pause to allow aid in and people out of the war zone.
However, Welsh Labour cabinet member, Health Minister Eluned Morgan, has spoken out in favour of an immediate ceasefire.
Meanwhile, over 150 cross-party councillors in Wales have signed the letter from the Muslim Council of Wales which calls on leaders of the Senedd’s political parties to back an immediate ceasefire.
The councillors have also called on MSs to vote in favour of the unamended motion which calls for an immediate ceasefire.
On Tuesday, 47 organisations – including the Muslim Council of Wales, Welsh Labour Grassroots and Race Alliance Wales – have signed a letter addressed to Labour First Minister Mark Drakeford calling on him and other Members of the Senedd to support the unamended motion.
Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “Plaid Cymru condemns the horrifying attacks carried out by Hamas against Israeli civilians and call for the immediate release of hostages. We also condemn the Israeli Government’s indiscriminate attacks on Gaza and the collective punishment of thousands of innocent Palestinians.
“Our Senedd motion is calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel to end the appalling attacks on innocent civilians. This would allow aid agencies to deliver vital care and supplies to the thousands currently suffering in the Gaza Strip.
“Plaid Cymru is urging every member in the Senedd to unite behind a ceasefire so that our national parliament sends a clear message for humanity and peace.
“We welcome the support of Labour and Liberal Democrat Members who have already signed our motion or indicated their support, and hope that many others will do so during the debate.”
Prior to the debate, representatives of Welsh peace organisations will host a “Ceasefire Now” protest vigil on the steps of the Senedd at 12 noon.
Adam Johannes from Cardiff Stop the War Coalition said: “A strong vote for an immediate ceasefire and lifting the siege of Gaza by the Senedd could begin a new political culture in Wales and light the way to Wales becoming a small but powerful voice on the world stage siding with the most oppressed and arguing for global justice.”
“In Gaza, over 10,000 Palestinians have died, including over 4,000 children. This slaughter will not secure a peaceful future for anyone. There is no military solution to a political problem. We need an end to the military occupation and siege, equal citizenship for Palestinian citizens of Israel and the right of the refugees to return home – Justice for Palestinians is the key to peace”.
Bethan Sayed, a former Senedd Member added: “We know that the UK Government have been very weak on not calling for a ceasefire, that’s why we want to make sure all our Senedd Members vote for a ceasefire.
“We need a ceasefire, we need lasting peace, we need negotiations to happen so that the Israeli government stops bombing innocent people. We do not want to discuss semantics of ‘humanitarian pauses’ or ‘suspension of hostilities’ we need all Welsh politicians to support a ceasefire now.”
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