mua_logo29 July 2014, from Maritime Union of Australia

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has again called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as its first cargo of medical aid arrived in the war-torn region.

The supplies have been delivered to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) and the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization, whose support includes the running of a mobile hospital in Gaza.

The shipment was made up of items identified by doctors working in Gaza as the most crucially needed, and included wheelchairs and crutches, surgical gloves, and thousands of rolls of bandages, syringes, facemasks, gloves and dressings.

ITF President Paddy Crumlin said this was the first shipment of medical aid purchased and sent from the ITF office in Amman, Jordan, as part of an ongoing relief appeal.

“While the delivery of urgent medical supplies is welcomed, the ITF again calls for an immediate ceasefire before even more innocent civilians are killed,” Mr Crumlin said.

“Another hospital in Gaza was hit in the past 24 hours and this is totally unacceptable to the international community.

“The ITF and unions around the world have been calling 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.’”

ITF acting general secretary Steve Cotton said there needs to be 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,” Mr Cotton said.

Photos of the first shipment being packed and sent can be seen here.

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