Our hearts are heavy as we process the latest news from Gaza every day. There are no words to describe the devastation. Over the past few weeks, Israeli air strikes have set an entire refugee camp ablaze in Rafah leaving sheltering families to burn alive. More recently, a school in central Gaza was bombed – killing at least 40 people including 14 children and wounding 70.[1] 

These attacks followed a ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering Israel to immediately cease its assault on Rafah [2]. Sadly, the attacks on civilians, including children, have only increased and there are unspeakable living conditions with 75% of the population displaced and the supply of humanitarian aid consistently blocked [3]. 

At 350.org, human rights are central to our vision of climate justice. There can be no justice without peace and the protection of human rights. Since October, the Palestinian people in Gaza have faced an unending threat on their homes, future and safety. Globally, we are clear in our unequivocal call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to all arms trade with Israel.

This is not about denying Israel the right to defend itself. The horrific acts carried out by Hamas on October 7th and the need to rescue hostages does not justify the level of harm inflicted on civilians in Gaza since then [4]. 

We cannot look away – not least because our own government continues to supply weapons to Israel, including parts for the F-35 fighter jets which are being used to drop bombs on Gaza.

Our partner, Global Justice Now is campaigning on this issue in the UK and you can take action now by writing to the foreign secretary using their template, to demand the government stop arming Israel.

Momentum is building to block the trade. Spain has suspended their arms exports as has Italy and Wallonia in Belgium and the Dutch government was forced to stop exports of F-35 fighter jet components to Israel following public pressure. The appeals court in The Hague stated that “There is a clear risk that Israel’s F-35 fighter jets might be used in the commission of serious violations of international humanitarian law,”[5]

The UK government’s failure to impose an immediate arms embargo is indefensible. By continuing to sell weapons to Israel at this time, the government is violating international legal obligations.

Across Europe, students have shown up in support of an urgent end to the Israeli government’s continued assault on Gaza, and to denounce the complicity of European governments and institutions. However, their calls for peace and justice have frequently been met with violent confrontation by police and security forces. This is a worrying trend which has seen our governments across Europe take action to criminalise protest and reduce the space for civil society to exert pressure on decision-makers. A similar situation has been happening in the US and our colleagues at 350 US have also responded to that repression

The horrors of this war are being used to sow division, further proliferate anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia, as well as anti-semitism, and limit the right to protest. We can’t let that happen. Joining together as a strong, united climate and environmental movement within a broader movement for justice, enables us to build the power we need to help create a world of freedom, safety, and belonging for everyone.

We have joined with other European climate groups and justice organisations in a statement of solidarity which you can read and share here.

If you, as an individual, or as a representative of an organisation, want to sign on to the statement, please fill in the required details and submit this form.

Let’s unite to speak up about Gaza and the repression of protests in Europe. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2024/6/6/israel-bombs-unrwa-school-in-gaza-kills-32-displaced-palestinians 
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c722zv1r5yro 
  3. https://edition.cnn.com/2024/06/07/middleeast/gaza-humanitarian-aid-israel-dg-intl/index.html 
  4. https://press.un.org/en/2023/sc15462.doc.htm
  5. https://nltimes.nl/2024/02/12/appeals-court-orders-netherlands-stop-delivering-f-35-fighter-jet-parts-israe

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