Socialist International condemns shelling of refugee shelter in Gaza

24 July 2014

The Socialist International condemns unreservedly the assault by the Israeli Defence Force against a school used by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as a shelter in northern Gaza harbouring refugees, mostly women and children, killing at least fifteen and leaving hundreds injured. Reports from UNRWA officials highlight that great efforts had been made to secure a window so that civilians could evacuate to safety but these efforts were to no avail.

For over seven years the citizens of Gaza have had to endure hardship and suffering brought about by Israel’s blockade of the enclave. The Socialist International has seen this action as inhumane and counter-productive. It deplores the Israeli government’s disregard for international humanitarian law by practicing what is in effect a collective punishment of Palestinian civilians along with the destruction of their basic infrastructure. This situation has become more acute today with thousands of Gaza citizens in urgent need of medical supplies, with over one hundred thousand people seeking refuge with nowhere to go, and with a serious shortage of water and food.

The Socialist International reiterates its appeal made on 14 July for an immediate cease-fire. It further calls on the Israeli government, in the interest of peace and security, to address the underlying causes of the conflict and to engage in negotiations with the Palestinian government to reach a two-State solution, which is the only outcome possible to achieve the lasting peace and stability which all the peoples of the region so urgently need and deserve.