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Easington MP calls on Government to send Royal Navy to Gaza

Smoke, dust and debris rise over Gaza City after an Israeli strike, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, as Israel and Gaza militants resumed cross-border attacks after a three-day truce expired and Egyptian-brokered talks on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Smoke, dust and debris rise over Gaza City after an Israeli strike, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, as Israel and Gaza militants resumed cross-border attacks after a three-day truce expired and Egyptian-brokered talks on a new border deal for blockaded Gaza hit a deadlock. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

EASINGTON MP Grahame Morris is urging the Government to send the Royal Navy to Gaza after being “horrified” by events in the war-torn region.

The Labour politician is calling for Prime Minister David Cameron to send the Royal Navy hospital ship RFA Argus, currently based in Falmouth, to spearhead the humanitarian relief effort in Gaza, where a three-day ceasefire is in place.

The recent conflict has seen Israeli forces repeatedly target civilian infrastructure destroying hospitals, schools, power plants, homes and United Nations facilities housing refugees. Nearly 1,900 Palestinians have been killed and almost 10,000 injured – around 80 per cent are civilians.

Some 450,000 people have been displaced and Israel’s attacks have left most of the population without power or water and lacking the basic medical supplies needed to treat huge numbers of ill or injured, plunging 1.8 million Palestinians towards a humanitarian catastrophe, says Mr Morris.

Gaza’s hospitals have been destroyed and damaged and are suffering severe shortages of medical equipment, staff and supplies.

With nobody allowed in or out and effective relief being prevented from entering the Strip, Gaza’s hospitals are unable to cope.

Mr Morris, a member of the Government’s health select committee, is supporting a petition which has gained 18,000 signatures and calls on the UK Government to deploy the RFA Argus hospital ship to Gaza to help in their humanitarian crisis.

Mr Morris said: “Watching the events unfold in Gaza this last month, it is impossible not to be horrified.

“We are witnessing a massacre.

“Without regard for international law or human life, a powerful occupying nation is unleashing their full military might against the civilian population whom they occupy.”

He added that Israel’s killing and maiming thousands of Palestinians and targeting of civil infrastructure, hospitals, UN shelters, schools and homes is “morally unjustifiable and amount to war crimes”.

Mr Morris said Israel continues to bombard Gaza and restrict the flow of essential medical supplies and humanitarian relief.

Doctors are operating on floors, people are dying without treatment and there are severe shortages of staff and resources, adds Mr Morris.

“With nobody allowed in our out of Gaza, the situation has become intolerable and something must be done by the UK Government,” he said.

“The Prime Minister’s silence and inaction has been shameful and the UK government cannot continue to stand by and do nothing.

“I call on the Prime Minister as a matter of urgency to use the hospital ship RFA Argus, to spearhead a humanitarian relief effort for the people of Gaza.

“She is uniquely designed for this type of necessity and the British Government must unilaterally and rapidly deploys RFA Argus to Gaza.”

 

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