I recall during my time as a very active trade unionist which I’m proud to been part of trade union delegation who was invited to visit Palestine organised by the Friends Of Palestine even then it was a desperate situation. Waiting for the next wave of attacks is no way to live and, like many other onlookers, we feared where this was going to end. Almost all the casualties so far have been Palestinian civilians. They were bearing the brunt of this bloody escalation. At the time we sincerely hoped that all sides would stop firing its rockets and that the Israeli Government can be persuaded to stand down. The Israeli bombardments are indiscriminate and lethal. The tragic loss of civilian life in Gaza and Jenin at the time. Former Member of Parliament Lynne Jones, Birmingham Selly Oak, 1992–2010 and other trade unions lobbied The British Government to do all it can to bring about a ceasefire and prevent further loss of life.
I could still recall the United Nations, Security Councils, and European Parliament passing resolutions after resolution to end the ceasefires but did Israel heed as usual they stuck two fingers to the world that called for a ceasefire it was during the time of the leaderships of Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat unfortunately it was to continue until the death of Yasser Arafat then after the burial Hamas and Israel continued unto the present still with no solutions from both-sides.
At an emergency session in New York, the security council adopted a presidential statement – one step below a legally-binding resolution – urging Israel and Hamas “to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond”, the BBC reports.
However, the Israeli and Palestinian envoys to the UN both criticised the presidential statement.
The Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor said: “Miraculously, it doesn’t mention Hamas. It doesn’t mention the firing of rockets. You don’t have to have the IQ of a rocket scientist to understand that if rockets are falling on you, you are allowed to defend yourself.”
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian representative, said he was “disappointed” a formal resolution demanding Israel withdraw its forces from Gaza has not been agreed. “They should have adopted a resolution a long time ago to condemn this aggression and to call for this aggression to be stopped immediately,” he said.
The UN’s statement emphasised that “civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected”. It also stressed an urgent need for “immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip”.
More than 1,030 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 43 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel have been killed in the fighting.
UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon has called for an urgent “humanitarian pause” to the fighting. “On this, the last Friday of Ramadan, I call for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza and Israel”, he said. “This pause would last through the Eid al-Fitr holiday period”.
This follows yesterday’s mass protest where Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) clashed with Palestinians in the volatile area around a checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem.Over 10,000 people took to the streets to protest against the bloodshed in Gaza. Protesters threw rocks and Molotov cocktails and blocked a road with burning tyres, while IDF says it used “riot dispersal means”, a term used to cover weapons such as rubber bullets and tear gas.
More than 15 women, children and United Nations staff were killed and 200 injured yesterday when a school used as a UN shelter was shelled in Gaza, the fourth time in as many days that a UN facility has been hit.
The UN has rejected IDF claims that it gave occupants time to leave before the attack. The UN says it made repeated attempts to negotiate a period of time during which people could safely leave the area but none was granted.
According to the UN, more than 118,000 people are now sheltering in UN schools and people are running out of food. More than 800 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have died since the Israel-Hamas conflict began on 8 July.
The UN Security Council has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza following the bloodiest day of the two-week conflict.
More than 500 people have been killed and more than 3,100 injured in Gaza since Israel launched its operation against Hamas militants, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health.
At least 100 Palestinians were killed yesterday alone as Israel escalated its military onslaught. The bodies of women and children were said to be strewn in the streets of Shejaiya as people fled their homes.
Following an emergency closed-door meeting, held at the request of Jordan, the UN Security Council expressed “serious concern at the escalation of violence”. It backed efforts by Egypt and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to broker a ceasefire deal, including the “withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from the Gaza Strip”.
But Riyad Mansour, the Palestinians’ UN representative, said he was disappointed that the council had not adopted a resolution to “stop the aggression against our people”.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has described the Israeli attacks as “crimes against humanity” and called for urgent talks. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue operations “as much as we need to” despite the death toll of Israeli soldiers rising to 18 at the weekend.
Twenty Israelis, including two civilians, have died in total, including two Americans fighting with the Israel Defence Force. The Guardian says the rise in casualties on Israel’s side could “increase pressure inside Israel for an end to the fighting or harden determination to inflict a decisive blow on Hamas”.
But Hamas has already cast doubt on the agreement, denying that a deal has been reached but saying talks are continuing in Egypt.
According to the Israelis the truce will begin on Friday at 6am local time (4am GMT), and if honoured will build on the temporary “humanitarian pause” both sides undertook today. But fears remain that one or both sides could renege on the agreement.
Israeli security forces say that Palestinian militants fired three mortars at Israel today, despite both sides committing to a five-hour cessation of hostilities on humanitarian grounds after four boys were killed playing football on the beach yesterday.
According to reports from Palestinian medical officials and journalists who witnessed the attack, the four teenagers were killed by shells fired by an Israeli naval gunboat.
“Children and adults scattered as the first shell struck, with a second and third hitting as they ran, setting fire to the palm-thatched shack
UN figures cited in a Human Rights Watch report yesterday, suggest that more than three quarters of the Palestinians killed have been civilians, including 36 children, and that approximately 7,500 people had been displaced in the bombing campaign.
“Israel’s rhetoric is all about precision attacks, but attacks with no military target and many civilian deaths can hardly be considered precise,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director of Human Rights Watch.
Well hopefully we all live in the hope that both Palestinian and Israelis will live in peace one day and hopefully a two state solution will be possible which may or may-not happen during our live time but may be possible through the eyes if our grand children.