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Welsh Government criticised for stance on Gaza conflict

25 Oct 2023 4 minute read
People protesting against the attack on the Gaza Strip in Cardiff.

Emily Price

An MS who has called for humanitarian aid to be sent to the Gaza Strip has criticised the Trefnydd for claiming that international affairs are outside the Welsh Government’s remit.

Mabon ap Gwynfor MS made an impassioned plea in the Senedd on Tuesday (October 24) to Lesley Griffiths MS.

He asked that humanitarian aid be delivered to people in Gaza who have been hit by devastating Israeli air strikes in retaliation to Hamas militants who launched an attack on Israel on October 7.

Critics have accused Israel of indiscriminately killing civilians and committing war crimes by cutting off essential supplies like food, water and fuel.

Mr ap Gwynfor said although there is “no justification” for the “atrocities” Hamas has carried out against innocent Israelis, it doesn’t justify “collectively punishing the whole population of Gaza”.

He said: “Killing innocent civilians will not make Hamas disappear, as is the stated intention of the Israeli Government, but will instead create a generation of Palestinians who will collectively suffer acute trauma with many wanting to avenge their loved one’s deaths. It will only perpetuate the bloody cycle of death and destruction.”

Speaking during the Senedd’s business statement, the Plaid Cymru MS referred to other instances in which the Welsh Government had previously arranged for humanitarian aid to reach conflict zones and regions of need.

Ceasefire

He said: “I understand that the Government here secured humanitarian aid for Palestine in previous conflicts. So, can we have an urgent statement from Government, setting out what humanitarian support the Government can provide to the people of Gaza, and an assurance that the Government here is using all of its powers in order to call for a ceasefire in that part of the world as a matter of urgency?”

Ms Griffiths responded: “I can assure you that Welsh Government is taking the steps to which you refer. I know both the First Minister and the Minister for Social Justice have really reached out to our faith groups here to see what more we can do to support them.

“Obviously, international affairs is not a devolved matter, but I’m sure we all watch with absolute horror as these scenes unfold before us on our television screens every evening.”

Following the exchange, Mr ap Gwynfor told Nation.Cymru he was “bitterly disappointed” with the Trefnydd’s response and said there was “no reason” why the Welsh Government can’t play a part in contributing aid to the people of Gaza.

Allies

He said: “There is a real fear that this conflict could escalate even further as each party urges allies to get involved, and the long history of this ongoing conflict tells us that this has already happened on too many occasions already.

“The International Community must speak with one voice and demand an immediate ceasefire and arrange that the humanitarian aid required for the people of Gaza is delivered directly.

“I was bitterly disappointed by the Trefnydd’s response, claiming that international affairs is outside of the Welsh Government’s remit.

“The Welsh Government has previously arranged for humanitarian aid to reach conflict zones and other regions of need, and there is no reason why the Welsh Government cannot play a part in ensuring that Wales contributes to the aid required by the people of Gaza right now.

“They should also use whatever influence they have by pressing on the UK Government to condemn the collective punishment inflicted on the people of Gaza and demand an immediate ceasefire, while also demanding that Hamas release their hostages and recognise the State of Israel.

“Peace must prevail, and the first step towards that is an immediate ceasefire and the delivery of aid.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The First Minister has strongly condemned the appalling attacks carried out by Hamas and expressed his deep concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

“He has called on the international community to come together to work again for a lasting peace.”


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karl
karl
6 months ago

An opinion on human suffering is not something I would leave with the UK government. After all this current 75 yr situation is disaster of the UK’s arrogant policies, tossing those Jewish out of Europe and not working hard on the problems and hate Christianity has laid at those Jewish for centuries. Every politician, just like every person, has a right to an opinion. The bandwagon the UK parliament jumped on to start, looks very foolish, very murderous. Time for some compassionate politics. After all we have both those of Jewish and Muslim faiths in our communities, they must feel… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
6 months ago
Reply to  karl

I would urge you to read up on the history of the region before making such flippant remarks about “European Jews being tossed into the region”. This is potentially very inflammatory in what is already a tinderbox situation. Firstly, Jewish people have ALWAYS had a presence in Israel dating back at least 3,000 years. The archaeological and historical record is very clear on that. Secondly, there was a “renaissance” of Jewish culture in Israel during the 19th century – long before the establishment of Israel as a modern state. And this was fuelled in the first instance by Middle Eastern… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

Mark Drakeford & Welsh Labour will say or do whatever their English master wants. They don’t lead but are led by the nose.
.

Last edited 6 months ago by Y Cymro
Riki
Riki
6 months ago

Why? What hamas done was 100% condemnable, however as bad as that was we surely can try to understand the situations in which cause people to feel they need to go to such extremes, (please don’t confuse understanding for acceptance) if Isreal didn’t receive land that wasn’t theirs to receive, and if the UK government didn’t give land that wasn’t theirs to give….we wouldn’t be in this situation today. As proven by the peace Jews lived under in Palestine pre 1918.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago
Reply to  Riki

Yes, Hamas actions were monstrous and whoever supports them are sick, but what the Israelis are doing is far worse. Over 5000 innocient civilians dead, some figures now say the death toll has reached 6,500 , in which well over 2000 are children have been murdered , all who were unjustly killed in Israel’s pursuit of Hamas terrorists. To me it’s the equivalent of someone pouring scolding water into an ants nest to kill the queen. Also, I hear world leaders parrot the same narrative that Israel has the right to defend itself. And I agree. Any state attacked has… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Y Cymro
Riki
Riki
6 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Indeed on all points, thankfully, not all Jews think the way Zionist’s do. I’ve seen plenty of Jewish Protests aimed at standing against the mistreatment of Palestinians within Isreal itself and elsewhere. You only have to look at that recent Man in Isreal who had had to go into hiding for his views. This shows not all are so despicable as Nuttyahu.

Another Richard
Another Richard
6 months ago

The Senedd should stick to the things it was set up to do. It’s not as if it’s triumphantly successful in those areas where it does have responsibility. It is of course open to Mabon ap Gwynfor to stand for election to Westminster if he wants to influence the UK’s Middle East policy.

Richard E
Richard E
6 months ago

Since we no longer have direct access via the EU Parliament or EU Committee of the Regions I’m afraid we need use those usual pathways to support all in need of humanitarian support – as indeed we have done with Ukraine 🇺🇦..

Alun Gerrard
Alun Gerrard
6 months ago

The whole of the WG should go over to Gazza and stay there if they want to help. Meanwhile what about Wales? The WG do not see the danger they create…our real enemies are already here and religion and politics are totally non-British.

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