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TUC statement of solidarity with Palestine

The TUC stands in solidarity with all Palestinian workers and the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) who today (18 May) are taking part in a general strike on both sides of the Green Line. This is in condemnation of the Israeli government’s violence in Gaza and the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, and against the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and persistent violations of Palestinian rights.

We have long-standing policy in support of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace between Palestine and Israel that is consistent with international law and respects equality and human rights.

The TUC has called on the UK government and international community to take firm action to help stop the escalation of violence, and to stop the evictions from Sheikh Jarrah. We are horrified by reports that to date 200 Palestinians have been killed including 59 children, and 10 Israelis have been killed in the recent violence. Our thoughts are with the families of these victims and others who have been injured.

The UN has acknowledged that the recent violence is linked to the planned evictions of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah and systematic violations of Palestinian rights: "The ongoing violence marks a dramatic escalation of tensions linked to the potential eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem by Israeli settlers and access to one of the most sacred sites in the city……. Neither short-term calm nor long-term peace will be accomplished as long as the national and individual rights of the City’s Palestinian population are routinely abrogated.”

According to the UN, over 38,000 Palestinians have now been internally displaced by the violence and are seeking protection in 48 UNRWA schools across Gaza, while over 2,500 people have been made homeless due to the destruction of their homes. Medical Aid for Palestine reports that Israeli airstrikes have damaged or destroyed water and electricity infrastructure, medical facilities including a primary health centre which provides Covid-19 testing and vaccinations, and targeted roads to two main hospitals in Gaza, restricting access for emergency services. Health professionals have reportedly been killed. The targeting of a refugee camp in Gaza, which killed 10 members of one family, has been condemned by the UN secretary general.

We deplore this violence and the deliberate targeting of journalists. According to the National Union of Journalists and International Federation of Journalists, over 30 journalists have been attacked or detained during the current violence and buildings housing media have been destroyed by Israeli bombs, which is seen as a deliberate attempt to silence those reporting on the ground in Gaza.

In solidarity with Palestinian workers, we’re calling on the UK government to recognise the root causes of this escalating violence and take steps to encourage a resolution including:

  • calling for an end to the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories and the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem,
  • calling for an end to the ongoing systematic discrimination faced by Palestinians in Jerusalem and the occupied territories, and forced displacement which is classified as a war crime,
  • publicly oppose the persistent violations of international law by the Israeli government including the settlement expansions, and
  • recognise the State of Palestine.

We stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers today and every day in their struggle for liberation, independence, equality and justice.

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