Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Nearly 11,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed by what Hastings & Rother Amnesty International call “indiscriminate bombing by the Israeli Apartheid state” (photo: Amnesty International).

MP to take Amnesty group’s concerns to government

MP Sally-Ann Hart has responded to concerns raised by the Hastings & Rother branch of Amnesty International over the conflict in Gaza, which, she said, she would take to the Foreign Secretary. However it is clear that both sides have very different positions over what is happening in Gaza. Nick Terdre reports.

In an open letter to Mrs Hart last week, Amnesty Hastings & Rye said they were writing “to express our sadness and outrage at the indiscriminate killings of civilians including children, the elderly, and people with disabilities in Israel and Gaza”.

Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups “flagrantly violated international law,” they said, while calling for “an immediate ceasefire by all parties in the Gaza Strip, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel to prevent further loss of civilian lives and to ensure access to life-saving aid for people in Gaza amidst an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.”

Transmitting her reply, Mrs Hart’s office manager said they would write to the Foreign Secretary with the group’s concerns. Mrs Hart herself wrote, “Whilst agree[ing] with many of the issues raised in your letter and that as much as we would all like to see an end to the horrific violence, Hamas is a terrorist group which does not recognise Israel’s existence, and calls for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews.

“One of the leaders of Hamas, Ghazi Hamad, only last week [. . .] hailed the systematic slaughter of civilians in Israel on October 7, vowing in an interview that if given the chance, the Palestinian terror group will repeat similar assaults many times in the future until Israel is exterminated.”

She added: “The simple fact is that no ceasefire can be reached until the threat of Hamas and additional murderous attacks is removed.” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has rejected the proposal of a ceasefire while supporting a humanitarian pause.

Critical response

Amnesty Hastings & Rye issued a critical response in which they wrote: “As of today [10 November], it is reported that nearly 11,000 Palestinian civilians, including babies, children, women, elderly, hospital patients, and people with disabilities have been killed due to indiscriminate bombing by the Israeli Apartheid state.

“We ask Sally-Ann Hart MP, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary how many Palestinian civilians need to be killed at the altar of revenge, collective punishment and ethnic cleansing for our MP, the PM and the Foreign Secretary to call for a ceasefire.

“. . . Indiscriminate bombing and collective punishment of civilians by the Israeli Apartheid regime will not destroy Hamas and even if it does, it will not kill the idea of Hamas or its future replacements. The children and youth who are presently suffering unfathomable misery and suffering are unlikely to thank the Israeli Apartheid regime for their actions unless this madness is stopped immediately by an international-sponsored peace process, the illegal occupation of Palestinian Territories is ended and institutional apartheid is dismantled.

“We need rational, thoughtful and objective leadership from our MP and the government and not taking the side of just one protagonist.”

In their original letter, which can be seen here, the group urged Israel to lift the siege of Gaza, stop indiscriminate bombing and release all arbitrarily detained Palestinians, and Hamas and other armed groups to end deliberate attacks on civilians, indiscriminate rocket firing and hostage-taking, and to release all civilian hostages and treat those being held captive humanely.

They quoted Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general, who said: “Serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, by all parties to the conflict continue unabated. In the face of such unprecedented devastation and suffering, humanity must prevail.”

The group repeated Amnesty’s call for “All members of the international community to come together to demand an immediate humanitarian ceasefire by all parties in the conflict by all parties in the conflict.”


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Posted 20:09 Sunday, Nov 12, 2023 In: Politics

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