TO:  ALL MEMBERS

Dear Brother/Sister

Executive Council statement on crisis in Gaza

The Executive Council meeting last week discussed the ongoing crisis in Gaza and the humanitarian crisis which has resulted. The Executive Council agreed the following statement:

FBU Gaza Statement

The Fire Brigades Union deplores the horrific attacks on Gaza and calls for an immediate, negotiated and total ceasefire. The union sends our support, solidarity and sympathy to all those affected by the conflict, including the families of the victims.

In particular, the FBU applauds the tremendous work done by firefighters helping the victims of atrocities, and who put themselves at even greater risk in order to assist others.

The FBU notes with horror that so far the Israeli armed forces have killed hundreds of people in Gaza, and the death toll continues to rise. These deaths include workers in health, education and journalism, with 80% of those killed being women and children. Around 120,000 people are seeking shelter, with food and water now running out. The assault amounts to the collective punishment of a population already suffering terribly from the effects of the blockade.

The FBU is appalled that UK-manufactured military equipment could be used in the attack on Gaza and calls for the suspension of UK arms sales to Israel.

The FBU is concerned by the bias shown by most broadcasters reporting the conflict and demands that Palestinian voices are heard.

The FBU condemns the one-sided approach of British ministers, who should be pressing the Israeli government to cease the attacks and enter into meaningful peace negotiations. The FBU welcomes the offer from Scottish hospitals (and endorsed by External Affairs Minister Humza Yousaf) to offer specialist treatment to the injured should that be possible. Similar offers should be made elsewhere in the UK and across Europe.

The FBU demands:

  •           An immediate ceasefire.
  •           Peace talks aimed at finding a lasting and just solution to the conflict.
  •           The Israel government lift the blockade on Gaza.
  •           Support for the boycott of illegal settlements, settlement goods and those corporations benefiting from the occupation and the wall.

The Israeli offensive is completely unjustified. The FBU believes that only a ceasefire observed by all – including those firing rockets into Israel – followed by serious negotiations with all parties can bring peace to the region. There is no military solution to the conflict – only a political solution based around two states can bring justice to all involved.

The FBU supports the PGFTU’s three-day general strike in the West Bank in protest at the Israeli government’s actions.

The FBU supports demonstrations called around the UK to stop the war on Gaza and calls on our members and friends to attend these mobilisations.

Best wishes.

Yours fraternally

MATT WRACK

GENERAL SECRETARY