May 1, 2018

In Blog

(By Jamie Stern-Weiner)

Attention all Labour Party and Momentum members:

Below is a draft Motion on Gaza.

We need to get as many branches and CLPs to pass it or a motion to the same effect as a matter of emergency.

Why is this an emergency?

– Gaza is on the brink of becoming unviable for large-scale human inhabitation. 97 percent of its water is unsafe for human consumption and its water table is on the brink of irreversible damage. The United Nations has warned for years that Gaza may become literally ‘unliveable’ by 2020, an assessment shared by the head of Israel’s Military Intelligence. A recent UN update concluded that this was overly optimistic and that the point of unviability may be reached before 2020.

– Two further rounds of nonviolent protest in Gaza have been scheduled: one for this coming Friday and one for the Friday after that. If the events of previous Fridays are repeated, hundreds more unarmed demonstrators will be shot, injured and killed. The only protection these unarmed protesters have is international indignation, which might restrain Israel’s repression.

– Palestinians have for many years been urged to practice nonviolent resistance. The current effort in Gaza will inevitably be viewed as a ‘test case’ of the efficacy of a nonviolent approach: its success or failure will help determine the character of future efforts to bring the occupation to an end. But as a Guardian article put it: ‘Palestinian non-violence requires global non-silence’. The people of Gaza are depending on us to make a nonviolent strategy viable in this, their hour of need.

Please work to pass a motion in your branches and meetings showing solidarity with the people of Gaza as soon as possible.

The text below can be used as a template.


Israeli Army’s unlawful killing and maiming of peaceful Palestinian protesters

This meeting notes:

– For several weeks, thousands of Palestinians have engaged in mass and overwhelmingly nonviolent protests in the Gaza Strip.

– The Government of Israel has responded with heavy repression. As of 27 April 2018, 42 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli forces in the course of the demonstrations, including four children, while more than 5,500 Palestinians, including 233 children, had been injured. [1]

– Médecins Sans Frontières doctors in Gaza have reported ‘receiving patients with devastating injuries of an unusual severity’ while Amnesty International has observed that many injuries ‘bear the hallmarks of US-manufactured M24 Reminton sniper rifles shooting 7.62mm hunting ammunition, which expand and mushroom inside the body.’ [2]

– No Israeli casualties have been reported.

– B’Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, has found that ‘Israeli soldiers have been shooting at unarmed demonstrators who pose no danger . . . An order to open live fire at unarmed civilians is manifestly illegal’. [3]

– Amnesty International has renewed its call on governments worldwide to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel following the country’s illegal response to the mass demonstrations. [4]

– The nonviolent demonstrations have occurred in the context of Israel’s illegal siege of Gaza, which the United Nations warns risks making Gaza literally ‘unliveable’ by 2020. [5]

– International human rights organisations have condemned Israel’s blockade of Gaza as a ‘collective punishment’ (International Committee of the Red Cross) imposed ‘in flagrant violation of international law’ (Amnesty International). [6]

– The European Parliament in April 2018 overwhelmingly demanded ‘an immediate and unconditional end of the blockade and closure of the Gaza Strip’. [7]

– A UN Human Rights Council inquiry, authored by a New York state judge, likewise called for the blockade of Gaza to be lifted ‘immediately and unconditionally’. [8]

– Labour MP Richard Burden has sponsored an Early Day Motion affirming the right to peaceful protest by Palestinians, calling for an investigation into the killings of Palestinians, and noting the destructive effects of the Israeli siege, notably for Gaza’s health system and its ability to cope with the mass casualties. [9]

– Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has condemned Israel’s firing of ‘live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians’ as ‘illegal and inhumane’, called for ‘an independent international inquiry’ and urged a ‘review’ of arms sales to Israel. [10]

This meeting believes:

– Palestinians’ right to protest peacefully has been grossly violated.

– We must condemn in the strongest possible terms the use by the armed forces of the State of Israel of lethal force against peaceful protestors as well as Israel’s illegal, immoral and inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip.

– Amnesty International is right to warn that: ‘The time for symbolic statements of condemnation is now over. The international community must act concretely and stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to Israel. A failure to do so will continue to fuel serious human rights abuses against thousands of men, women and children suffering the consequences of life under Israel’s cruel blockade of Gaza.’ [11]

– B’Tselem is right to call on the international community to ‘do all in its power—and its responsibility—in order to protect Palestinian lives and uphold international norms’. [12]

This meeting resolves to call on [[LOCAL MP]] and the Parliamentary Labour Party to:            

– Sign Early Day Motion 1163 (‘Violence Against Protestors in Gaza’).

– Call for an independent international investigation into Israel’s use of force against Palestinian demonstrators;

– Call for a freeze of UK Government arms sales to Israel pending the results of such an investigation;

-Call for an immediate and unconditional end to the illegal blockade and closure of Gaza.


[1] Figures cited by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:

[2] Médecins Sans Frontières (19 April 2018),; Amnesty International (27 April 2018),

[3] B’Tselem, ‘If the Heart Be Not Callous: On the Unlawful Shooting of Unarmed Demonstrators in Gaza’ (April 2018), p. 7.

[4] Amnesty International (27 April 2018),

[5] UN Country Team in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, ‘Gaza Ten Years Later’ (July 2017), p. 3,

[6] International Committee of the Red Cross, ‘Gaza Closure: Not Another Year!’ (14 June 2010), ; Amnesty International, ‘Suffocating Gaza – the Israeli blockade’s effects on Palestinians’ (1 June 2010),


[8] UN Human Rights Council, ‘Inquiry into the 2014 Gaza Conflict’ (2015), para. 681(d).



[11] Amnesty International (27 April 2018),

[12] Letter from B’Tselem to UN Secretary General António Guterres (26 April 2018),’TselemLetter_engv