Since the launch of Operation Protective Edge on Tuesday 8th of July 2014, Palestine has seen a death toll of over 500, with a further 3,150 people injured. Of those killed, 80% have been civilians, and the majority have been women and children. The legality of this activity has been questioned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the head of humanitarian analysis at Médecins Sans Frontières’ has referred to the situation in Palestine as ‘an open air prison’. Additionally, the UN World Food Programme has provided emergency food rations and vouchers to over 20,000 displaced people and has stated the need for its food assistance programme to be extended to over 600,000 of the most vulnerable people in the area.
The Union of UEA Students is the representative voice of all students at UEA and according to UUEAS policy 1186 – Solidarity with the People of Palestine, passed by the Union Council, this Union condemns the ‘disproportionate use of force by Israel against Palestinians’ as well as Israel’s ‘consistent disregard for international law and human rights.’
The Student Officer Committee of UUEAS believes the recent escalation of violence from Israel against Palestine to be disproportionate, particularly in relation to the impact this has had on Palestinian civilians. We therefore, in line with our position of solidarity with Palestinians, condemn the recent military campaign from the Israeli state.
All violence against civilians and the feeding of a constant war, by both sides in the region, should be condemned as a general principle. Civilians and innocent people affected on all sides should be protected at all costs. We are concerned about the prospect of long term peace in the region, and believe that this can only occur with a political, not a military, solution which requires a co-operative approach on both sides.