Green Party statement on ongoing conflict in Israel & Palestine

Green Party Northern Ireland unequivocally condemns the killing of civilians by Hamas and by the State of Israel. 

We recognise that this conflict has emerged from years of injustice, the illegal occupation of Palestine, and the cruel conditions in which Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are forced to live. 

Renewed efforts to find peace must be a priority, and true and lasting peace means a just settlement. The current apartheid system will continue to bring harm to Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike as long as it persists. 

As a party committed to non-violence, our thoughts and compassion extend to all those who have lost loved ones. We call on the international community to hold the State of Israel and Hamas to international human rights standards and international humanitarian law. The Geneva Conventions must always be respected. 

We urge Israel to immediately cease retaliatory attacks on Gaza and its people, and we urge Hamas to release the people taken hostage. The atrocities committed by Hamas are utterly wrong, and collective punishment carried out on innocent Palestinians must never be accepted or allowed to be normalised. 

Today's call to move 1.1 million people from one part of Gaza to another within 24 hours, with the threat of violence, amounts to ethnic cleansing. The international community must act to prevent this threat from becoming a reality.