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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Stop the slaughter: aid groups say pressure must be put on Israel over Rafah attack

 

"A ceasefire is the only way to stop the death and destruction, get more aid to those who desperately need it, and safely release the hostages"

More 30 NGOs have signed a joint statement calling on the UK Government to work urgently to prevent any further assault on Rafah.

Signatories include Action Aid UK, Christian Aid UK, Care International UK, International Rescue Committee UK, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Oxfam GB, Save the Children UK and more.

On Monday, the Israeli military ordered tens of thousands of civilians to begin evacuating nearby eastern parts of Rafah city ahead of what it called a "limited" operation.

However, there are grave fears over what may happen next. Tens of thousands of Gazans are trapped in the city, many having fled there following the destruction of their homes by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).

Ahead of an expected assault, the IDF has seized the Palestinian-end of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Charities say this mean that no aid can be delivered through that route – to a desperate population already facing famine.

The UK NGOs’ statement reads: “The UK Government has repeatedly asked Israel not to unleash a slaughter in Rafah, Gaza.

“Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron is “very concerned about what is happening in Rafah” and knows “it is impossible to fight a war amongst all these people. There is nowhere for them to go.”

“Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell thinks that an Israeli incursion will struggle to be compliant with international law.”

“Middle East Minister Lord Ahmad said that “the fighting must stop now, in order to get the hostages home.”

“Meanwhile, the prime minister acknowledges that “Too many innocent civilians have died in Gaza.”

“David Cameron also asked Israel for a ‘plan b’ for Rafah to ensure “people can achieve safety, get food, medicine and water, and that people are kept safe.”

“They have been ignored by Israel.

“Yesterday, the Israeli military issued relocation orders to people sheltering in parts of Rafah, signaling a full-scale invasion that will most likely kill thousands of innocent civilians. The area people are being directed to is already overstretched and lacks the capacity and resources to accommodate the number of people seeking refuge. The relocation orders lack guarantees of safety and the right to return, which risk violating humanitarian law. This is not a plan b; it risks a violation of basic rights, and the UK must not accept it.

“Since then, Israel has intensely bombed Rafah, including civilian homes and areas marked as safe. This morning, Israeli tanks entered the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, blocking completely the passage for people and humanitarian aid.

“There are no safe spaces in Gaza. Israel has repeatedly attacked so-called ‘safe zones’, killing displaced people. Any claims from Israel that civilians can be safely relocated have lost credibility.

“The failure of our leaders to back words with meaningful action is glaring. As the 1.2 million people in Rafah face attacks that our leaders know would be catastrophic, they must finally act to stop the slaughter.

“The UK must work urgently to stop any further assault on Rafah from going ahead, demand an immediate lasting ceasefire, resume funding to UNRWA, and suspend arms sales to Israel for as long as there is a risk they may be used to violate international humanitarian law.

“A ceasefire is the only way to stop the death and destruction, get more aid to those who desperately need it, and safely release the hostages.

“There is no plan b for the people in Rafah.”

Last month the IDF admitted killing aid workers – including three UK nationals – after strikes hit a clearly marked World Central Kitchen convoy.

 

Comments

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Think before you post
about 1 month ago

Articles like this make me ashamed to be part of the Scottish charity sector. Quoting a report or emphasising humanitarian concerns is one thing, but for TFN to accuse Israel of 'slaughter' (in a HEADLINE) given what happened on October 7 is reprehensible. Check yourself, because rhetoric like this makes Jews in the UK feel unsafe and unwelcome.