PSPD in English Peace/Disarmament 2023-10-23   2378

We Oppose the Blockade of Gaza, Air Strikes, and the Deployment of Ground Troops

Israel’s blockade of Gaza and airstrikes are causing a humanitarian disaster
The deployment of ground forces leads to uncontrollable civilian casualties and the risk of escalation
Palestine conflict must be resolved peacefully and politically

The armed conflict between Israel and Hamas is escalating. Numerous civilians have been killed and abducted in Hamas’ surprise attack. Additionally, many civilians have also lost their lives in occupied Palestinian territories, due to Israeli airstrikes. We mourn all those sacrificed in this armed conflict and pray earnestly that no more tragedies will occur.

According to media reports, the death toll on both sides is now known to exceed 4,000, the majority of whom are civilians. Attacks on civilians are unacceptable under any circumstances, and the kidnapping or arbitrary detention of civilians is also unacceptable. Hamas’s military action on October 7th, which resulted in these casualties, deserves criticism for its inhumane nature. However, attacks or arbitrary detentions on civilians in the Palestinian region have not only been carried out by Hamas. The sacrifices and human rights violations of Palestinian civilians have far outweighed those of the Israeli side due to Israel’s occupation and blockade of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, as well as the resulting armed conflicts. Israel’s response, in particular, has been characterized by excessive retaliation, leading to further conflict instead of resolving the issue. This is why Israel’s attacks and blockades must be stopped.

Israel unilaterally notified civilians in the blockaded northern Gaza Strip to evacuate on October 14th, local time. It is also preparing to deploy ground forces. Israel’s use of ground forces not only leads to uncontrollable additional casualties but also poses a significant risk of escalating the armed conflict in Palestine. Israel’s attempt to deploy ground forces must be stopped. Both sides must immediately cease all military action and seek peaceful and political solutions.

First and foremost, the most urgent matter is to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe caused by the interruption of the supply of food, water, electricity, medicine, and other essential goods to all residents of Gaza. Israel must immediately lift the blockade and cooperate to facilitate the smooth delivery of humanitarian aid by the international community.

A more fundamental solution to the problem can be achieved through a just and peaceful resolution to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The unilateral attempt to establish a Zionist state by displacing and expelling the Palestinians, who have been living there for generations, has led to a conflict that has lasted for over 70 years. In particular, Israel has effectively transformed the occupied Palestinian territories into a “prison without bars” through its ongoing illegal occupation and construction of settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As long as Israel’s oppressive occupation policy, which contradicts the international consensus, persists, it will be impossible to prevent the resistance and armed conflicts of the Palestinian residents who have been living under occupation. A peaceful and just solution, based on restoring the right to self-determination and ensuring the survival of the Palestinian population under occupation, necessitates collaboration between the parties involved and the international community.

18 Oct 2023

People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) 

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