PSI calls for the immediate cessation of the ongoing violence that started on 6 May with Israeli aggression of Palestinians and has already killed 192 Palestinians, 10 Israelis, left 900 injured and others arrested due to their trade union activities (numbers updated on 17 May).
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At least 192 Palestinians, including women and children, have been killed in airstrikes launched by Israel since 10 May while many others have been critically injured. Once again, in this new round of escalation of violence in the besieged strip, medical facilities and staff are targeted in violation of the international rules. According to the news, most of the victims on both sides are civilians.
In the Arab world condemnation is growing as the decision of the Supreme Court of Israel is considered illegal
The clashes began on 6 May between Palestinian protesters, Israeli settlers and police forces over a planned decision of the Supreme Court of Israel regarding evictions of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem . On the occasion, civilians were injured in the peaceful demonstrations against the forced evictions of Palestinian families by the Israeli settlers and police forces. Trade union leaders have been hurt too.
Two days later, Dr. Ashraf Al-A’war, General Secretary of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, was detained by Israeli security forces and subjected to questioning about his trade union activities until late that night - an Israeli court then prohibited him from taking part in any trade union or political gathering for a period of one month.
On 10 May, Anan Qadri, former president of the GTU of Health Services in the West Bank, who was the MENA representative in PSI WOC for many years, was also wounded during a peaceful protest.
On the same day, confrontations with the police took place at the Al-Aqsa Mosque - just 3 kilometres away from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood - in the heart of Jerusalem's walled Old City, disrupting Ramadan celebrations. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said more than 300 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police.
The unacceptable violence perpetrated against Palestinian civilians over a week, prompted a reaction from Gaza with rockets fired over the border - that were met with disproportionate force.
In the Arab world condemnation is growing as the decision of the Supreme Court of Israel is considered illegal under international humanitarian law and meant to fuel tensions on the ground.
Neighbouring Jordan, which made peace with Israel in 1994 and is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, has also condemned Israel’s actions, as has the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, which normalized relations with Israel last year as part of the US-brokered deal (Deal of the Century) - which, in fact, seems to be exacerbating violence and abuse over Palestinians rather than pacifying the region.
Condemns these attacks and calls for the immediate cessation of aggression as the necessary step to stop violence on both sides;
Considers the evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem a violation to the resettlement agreement and International Law;
Believes that the protection of civilians and health service workers should be ensured in respect of the Convention of Geneva, especially those who are in the field;
Calls for the respect of the right of freedom of belief, that in modern society, can only be guaranteed by a secular state;
Expresses solidarity to the trade union members and to the civilians that are suffering because of the aggression;
Calls on the international community to make serious efforts to establish an independent Palestinian State, free of violence and aggression, and to work toward “The two States' solution” based on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital city. Efforts should be deployed for the respect of International Humanitarian Law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, which guarantees the protection of civilians in time of war.
On 10 May, confrontations with the police took place at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the heart of Jerusalem's walled Old City, disrupting Ramadan celebrations. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said more than 300 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police.