Over 300 prominent activists, politicians, academic and religious figures from all over the world have come together to make an urgent plea to the United Nations to use its offices to bring an immediate end to the “bloodbath” in Gaza.
Spearheaded by the IHRC, the letter accuses the UN of being a bystander to war crimes as Israel continues its bombardment of the densely populated Palestinian territory. To date well over 5000 people have been killed, 70% of them women and children. Child deaths alone are currently running in excess of 2000.
The letter, addressed to the UN secretary general Antonio Guterres, is signed by among others, former labour minister Clare Short and renowned academic Professor Hamid Algar.
It charges Israel with carrying out a series of war crimes. These include cutting off electricity, water and food supplies and abandoning the principles of proportionality and distinction in warfare in bombing residential centres, hospitals, ambulances, churches, mosques, schools and shopping areas.
The letter calls on the UN to “rise to the need of the hour” to “rein in Israel” and establish an immediate ceasefire that will allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.
“The UN was formed in the wake of World War 2 with the express purpose of upholding a rules based world order and to prevent a repeat of that conflict. That being the case how much longer is the organisation going to stand by and watch as a genocide unfolds before our very eyes”, states the letter.
Yesterday Mr. Guterres told the UN that “the Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence, their economy stifled, their people displaced and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing.”
The full text of the letter and signatories is available to view here.
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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Telephone: (+44) 20 8904 4222