Friends of the Earth's statement on Israel-Palestine conflict
Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland opposes all acts of violence. We're horrified by the images coming out of Israel and Gaza and heartbroken that civilians are paying the price for decades without a just resolution to a fundamentally unsustainable situation. In no uncertain terms, we strongly condemn the killing of civilians and taking of hostages and urge all parties, including the international community, to work to end this conflict.
The attack on Israeli civilians by Hamas was horrific. The indiscriminate response by Israel against Palestinians, including bombarding Gaza and prohibiting the provision of food, water and electricity into the occupied territory, is creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. It's compounding the environmental crisis, social devastation, injustice and rights violations that have taken place under decades of occupation and blockade in Gaza, where people already faced severe restrictions and scarce access to water, sanitation and health services.
There can be no environmental justice when there is oppression. For 16 years, Israel has denied the free movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza. In 2016, the UN Secretary-General called the Gaza blockade “a collective punishment for which there must be accountability.” Throughout the blockade of Gaza, Israel has refused to put in place a long-term solution that would lead to peace and safety for all. And the international community has stood by and not used its leverage and influence with Israel to ensure that Israel abides by UN Security Council resolutions that demand a permanent end to the occupation of Palestinian lands.
We stand in solidarity with our sister organisation, PENGON/Friends of the Earth Palestine, in its longstanding opposition to the occupation and call for an immediate end to the assault on Gaza.
In this critical moment, we call for an end to violence, for all parties to respect their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law, and demand that the root causes of this conflict finally be addressed and resolved. We call on the UK government to use its leverage and influence to call for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the occupation and for action on decades of violations of international law.
There's now a desperate health and humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where almost half the population is under the age of 18. We urge the UK government to use all diplomatic means at its disposal to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. Your help is urgently needed – do support Medical Aid for Palestinians, which is responding to the current emergency.