Supporting aid on the ground in Israel and Gaza

24 November 2023

The National Executive Committee of Prospect, agreed a statement on the situation in Israel and Palestine at its meeting on 23 November 2023.

All members will be horrified by the bloodshed that we have seen in Israel and Palestine in recent months. We express solidarity to those affected, and our support for genuine efforts towards a just, comprehensive, and lasting peace.

These events will have touched on members’ lives in many ways; some will be very directly affected with deep concerns for family members who live in the region. The crisis will have also touched on some members’ lives where they work to support the UK response in the Civil Service or bringing media reports from the region for one of our broadcasters.

As a union, our primary focus is on the workplace and matters that impact our members’ rights at work day-to-day. Our ability to influence international events is limited. However, solidarity with working people around the world is an important trade union value. It is vital to be led by what trade unionists on the ground in both Palestine and Israel are calling for. The way that we can do this is through the TUC and their links with both the ITUC and directly with unions in the region. To this end we have actively engaged with and supported the statement made by the TUC, on behalf of the 5.5 million members of the 48 unions affiliated to the TUC.

To save lives there must be an immediate halt to all fighting and cessation of hostilities and a release of all hostages. Pressure must be brought to bear by the UK government on both Israel and Hamas to achieve this. When that has happened, the whole international community must commit to securing a lasting peace, which is the only thing that will deliver for workers in both Israel and Palestine.

Many Prospect members will want to know what practically they can do to help. It is essential to assist those saving lives on the ground. Prospect has a long-term charity partnership with War Child, who have been working with children in the occupied Palestinian territory for many years, with some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in the region.

We are also encouraging members to support the Red Cross too. Staff and volunteers from Magen David Adom (MDA), Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were already on the ground when the violence broke out and have been leading the response to the emergency. They have been working around the clock to treat casualties, provide ambulances and lifesaving first aid to all those who need it. To assist these efforts the NEC has also authorised a donation of £10,000 each to both the Red Cross and to War Child.