Letter to the Prime Minister on the GAZA war

This Letter was sent to the Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Rishi Sunak MP, on 1st November 2023

I am writing to express my distress over your continued failure to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

As I write this letter, human beings are dying. More than 8,000 Palestinians have been killed already, including more than 3,500 children. Almost 2,000 people are trapped under the rubble.

Doctors are performing surgery without anaesthesia. Mothers are watching their babies fight for survival in incubators that are running out of electricity. Last night, Israeli Defence Forces confirmed they had bombed Jabalia Refugee Camp — one of the most densely populated camps in the world.

We may be witnessing the total obliteration of Gaza and the erasure of its people. It is unconscionable, therefore, that you instructed the British representatives at the UN to abstain on a UN General Assembly motion, which called for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities”. A ceasefire is a basic and minimal demand to stop the killings, and it is a demand that should be made by any government committed to the protection of civilian life.

Your government has since stated support for “humanitarian pauses” instead of a ceasefire.

Firstly, humanitarian pauses are not enough. Innocent people deserve more than just brief respite before the bombing resumes. They deserve a just and lasting peace. Secondly, if it is the case that you support humanitarian pauses, then why did you also instruct British representatives to abstain on a UN Security Council resolution, which called for precisely that?

If adopted, the resolution would have condemned all violence against civilians, demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, and called for the protection of all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel.

In the aftermath of horror, we need voices for de-escalation. Instead, at every stage, you have given the green light for the Israeli army to bomb, starve and slaughter human beings in the name of self-defence. The attack by Hamas, which killed 1,400 people and took 200 people hostage, was utterly deplorable and must be condemned. That cannot justify the indiscriminate killing of the Palestinian people, who are being punished for a crime they did not commit. All human life is equal – and we should condemn the killing of all civilians, Israeli and Palestinian.

I urge you to:

  • Call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages and an end to the siege of Gaza
  • Push for unfettered access of food, water, fuel, electricity and medical supplies into Gaza
  • Insist that all parties comply unequivocally with international law
  • Condemn clear breaches of international law
  • Support demands for an independent and reliable investigation by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, in order to seek truth and justice for every single war crime that has been committed over the past month

With every passing minute, another human being in Gaza runs out of the basic means of survival. How many more people must die before you call for a ceasefire to end the killings? I implore you to think of the human beings disappearing under the rubble, and call for an immediate ceasefire to prevent any further loss of life.