“Every moment that the UK government fails to call for a ceasefire costs innocent lives."
Jewish campaign group Na’amod today blockaded the entrance to the Foreign Office to demand the UK call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Campaigners staged the action under the banner of ‘ceasefire now – end the siege, release the hostages’.
Na’amod describes itself as a movement of Jews in the UK seeking to end their community’s ‘support for Israel’s occupation and apartheid’.
As well as calling for a ceasefire, Na’amod said the sit-in outside the Foreign Office was staged to call for the UK to ‘end its complicity in Israel’s attacks on Gaza’ and for Hamas to unconditionally release the hostages it holds. The group says its demands echoes those of the families of hostages held by Hamas by calling on international actors to pressure the Israeli government to prioritise a deal that would bring them home safely.
The action comes shortly after Na’amod held the largest Jewish ceasefire protest to take place in the UK this month, with over 400 Jews gathering in Parliament Square. The Jewish group also organised a vigil to mourn all those murdered in Hamas’s massacre on October 7 and by the Israeli military’s retaliatory assault on Gaza.
More than 8,000 people have been killed since Israel’s military assault on Gaza began earlier this month. Na’amod says that the UK government is ‘complicit in this horror’ as a result of not calling for a ceasefire.
Campaigners have said that the total siege on Gaza – which has prevented food, electricity, fuel and water from entering the Palestinian territory – amounts to collective punishment, which is a war crime. Over one million Palestinians have been displaced after Israel issued evacuation warnings in the north of Gaza.
Jeremy, a Na’amod activist involved in organising the action at the Foreign Office, said: “Every moment that the UK government fails to call for a ceasefire costs innocent lives.
“We say no to collective punishment and stand in solidarity with Palestinians who are under aerial bombardment and siege in Gaza, and are killed and forcibly displaced by settlers in the West Bank.
“We stand with the families of the hostages taken by Hamas, who have been abandoned by a government that prioritises a punitive military campaign ahead of the lives of its own citizens”
Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward