First Minster of Scotland Calls for Immediate Ceasefire #Gaza

Head and shoulders shot of Humza Yousaf

First Minister Humza Yousaf has written to UK political leaders urging them to support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, to allow a humanitarian corridor to open. The First Minister says the UK should stand together to stop the humanitarian disaster that is unfolding in Gaza.

UN chief António Guterres called on Wednesday 18th of October for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Middle East to ease the “epic human suffering” in the Israel-Gaza conflict. On the same day the United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have called for “humanitarian pauses” to deliver lifesaving aid to millions in Gaza. While 12 of the Council’s 15 members voted in favour of the Brazilian-led text, one (United States) voted against, and two (Russia, and the United Kingdom) abstained.

Calls by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) for civilians in Gaza City to evacuate – warnings which “make no difference” because “people have nowhere to go or are unable to move”, said the UN’s top humanitarian official in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Lynn Hastings.

“When the evacuation routes are bombed, when people north as well as south are caught up in hostilities, when the essentials for survival are lacking, and when there are no assurances for return, people are left with nothing but impossible choices”, she said, insisting that “nowhere is safe in Gaza”.

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday 27th October adopted a resolution calling for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce” between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in Gaza. It also demands “continuous, sufficient and unhindered” provision of lifesaving supplies and services for civilians trapped inside the enclave, as news reports suggest Israel has expanded ground operations and intensified its bombing campaign. The  non-binding Jordanian resolution passed by a large majority of Member States, with 120 votes in favour, 14 against and 45 abstentions. The Emergency Special Session will reconvene on Tuesday, with countries continuing their debate 

The First Minister’s letter has been sent to:

  • Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales
  • Michelle O’Neill First Minister (Designate) of Northern Ireland
  • Sir Keir Stamer, Leader of the Labour Party
  • Sir Ed Davey, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
  • Rhun ap Lorwerth, Leader of Plaid Cymru
  • Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsey, Co-Leaders the Green Party of England and Wales 
  • Douglas Ross, Leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Anas Sarwar, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party
  • Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, Co-Leaders of the Scottish Green Party
  • Alex Cole Hamilton, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • Clare Adamson, Convenor of the Scottish Parliament Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee
  • Alicia Kearns, Chair of the UK Parliament Foreign Affairs Select Committee

Fiona Grahame

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