MPs, activists, NGOs hand protest notes to US, UK and EU over Gaza violence

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 09 Dec 2023

SHAH ALAM: A group of 38 MPs and 36 activists and non-governmental organisations handed over diplomatic protest notes to the governments of the United States,United Kingdom and European Union over the escalating bloodshed in Gaza.

Sinar Harian reported that the notes were handed over on Friday (Dec 8) to the respective missions in Kuala Lumpur.

The note to the US government was addressed to its Kuala Lumpur deputy chief of mission Manu Bhalla and was handed over by Ledang MP Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Syed Ibrahim also represented the group in handing over the note addressed to the UK's High Commissioner to Malaysia Ailsa Terry CMG.

He was accompanied by Balik Pulau MP Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik to submit the note addressed to the EU's head of delegation to Malaysia Michalis Rokas.

All three notes expressed deep concern over Israel’s continued bombardments in Gaza which have displaced 1.9 million Palestinians or about 80 per cent of Gaza’s entire population.

The signatories were also dismayed that over 16,000 Palestinians, including more than 7,000 children, have died from the war.

These exclude an estimated 6,500 women and children missing, feared dead from the brutal conflict while over 40,000 people in Gaza were injured.

These numbers stand in stark contrast to the estimated 1,500 Israelis who have died, with 5,600 injured.

The protest note to the US expressed concern over Washington's plan to provide USD14.5 billion in military aid for Israel’s ongoing war crimes in Palestine.

This is on top of the USD3.8 billion in foreign military aid that Israel receives yearly from 2019, from the United States, accounting for 16 per cent of Israel’s total military budget in 2022.

"As such, we demand that the American government support an immediate and permanent humanitarian ceasefire.

"We ask that the American government stop all direct and indirect military aid to Israel," the protest note to the US government read.

In the protest note to the UK, the group described as "abhorrent" the British government's continued direct and indirect military support to Israel’s ongoing war crimes in Palestine.

The note also expressed deep concerns over reports that British nationals may be present as combatants alongside Israeli forces in Gaza.

It condemned the sales of arms, the provision of military advisors and logistical support, including military surveillance flights over Israel and Gaza to provide intelligence to Israel.

These activities may be equivalent to supporting the ongoing war crime attacks against the people of Gaza.

The group demanded that the British government stop all direct and indirect military aid to Israel while applauding the UK Parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee for investigating the British government's support for Israel.

In the protest note to the EU, the group singled out European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, especially her unilateral declaration of "Europe stands with Israel" immediately following the Oct 7 attacks.

It also chastised Von der Leyen’s decision to hastily suspend funds to Palestine after Oct 7 only to reinstate them later after facing severe public backlash.

"We demand that EU states immediately suspend all transfers of military equipment, assistance and ammunition to Israel.

"Taken together, EU nations are one of Israel’s main suppliers of military systems and equipment, behind only the US.

"EU countries have licensed around €2 billion of military contracts to Israel, including over €600 million in 2012 alone.

"This includes ammunition, weapon firing equipment and components for military aircraft and vehicles. European countries have not sent arms or military systems to Palestine since 2002," the note read.

All three notes demanded that the US, UK and EU support an immediate and lasting humanitarian ceasefire, especially in light of the United Nations Secretary-General's invocation of Article 99 of the UN Charter.

For the first time in a quarter of a century, Article 99 has been invoked in alarm at the global security threat posed by Israel's destruction of Gaza.

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