23 July 2014, from Maritime Union of Australia
As its first lorryload of medical supplies begins its journey to Gaza, the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation), again backed calls for an immediate ceasefire there.
The ITF has organised a programme to help trade unions send food and medicines to Gaza. The federation’s office in Amman, Jordan is coordinating the provision of aid and is putting together the first cargo load now for despatch tomorrow. Expected to reach Gaza on Friday, the supplies will be handed over to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) and the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization, whose support includes the running of a mobile hospital there.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin stated:
“The situation in Gaza is desperate. There is a need for an immediate ceasefire before even more civilians are killed. We strongly echo and support the continuing calls by the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) for action in line with the UN Security Council resolution that called for ‘de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm, reinstitution of the November 2012 ceasefire and respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.”
“We firmly believe that a cessation of hostilities must be followed by renewed international pressure to achieve a long term solution, including the end of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and a negotiated settlement that respects the 1967 borders between Israel and a Palestinian state. It is time that the rights of the Palestinian people are fully recognised in line with UN resolutions.”
In 2009 a similar ITF programme delivered ambulances, food and medicine during the attacks at that time.
Background to this action: On 7 July 2014, following a severe escalation in hostilities involving intense Israeli aerial and navy bombardment and Palestinian rocket firing, the Israeli Government launched a full-scale military offensive against the Gaza Strip, titled Operation ‘Protective Edge’.