Rt Hon William Hague
19 November 2012
Dear Foreign Secretary,
I am calling on you to pursue all avenues in urging the Israeli government and Hamas to immediately end the current violence and commit to a lasting cease fire.
The TUC condemns violence from all sides: the Israeli offensive into Gaza and the rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.
This conflict is a disaster for civilians on all sides. During the conflict of 2008-2009 when Israeli forces entered Gaza at least 1400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis lost their lives.
It is the Palestinians who stand to suffer the most. Fighting in Gaza will deepen the suffering of some 1.6 million people, half of them children, already paying a heavy price under Israel’s five year blockade of the territory. And this time there is a far greater risk of a wider regional conflict.
This conflict is a tragic sign of just how distant a lasting peace deal is. I call on the UK government to take concrete steps to get the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Publicly backing the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN General Assembly, and stepping up practical pressure on Israel to stop expansion of illegal settlements would greatly aid in this regard.
I look forward to your reply.
Briefing document (300 words) issued 19 Nov 2012