Statement regarding the violence in Palestine
The International Relations Office notes with horror the plight of the people of Palestine. Following the October 7 attacks by Hamas, there has been a terrible loss of life among civilians during the massive military onslaught in Gaza.
The murder of the innocent non-combatants during the Hamas attack are condemned. The resistance to the occupation of Palestine is just but requires principled rules of engagement that adhere to international human rights laws.
The retaliatory Israeli bombing of innocent civilians – including men, women and children – and the targeting of schools and universities, old age homes, hospitals and ambulances in Gaza continues unabated. The siege and blockade by the Israeli government to cut off supplies to Gaza (including food, water, fuel, medical equipment and medical assistance) and the mass displacement of people represents a blatant violation and disregard for international Human Rights Conventions and international humanitarian law.
We are also profoundly concerned about the gross violations, including the torture, detention without trial, and the imprisonment of children, of the Palestinian people’s human rights with regard to freedom, agency and self-determination. Generations of Palestinian children have been raised in conditions of endemic oppression, violence, deprivation and militarised repression due to the illegal occupation of Palestine.
The situation requires us to speak out against this brutality and humanitarian catastrophe. Silence is complicity and encourages impunity. This emboldens oppressors everywhere. The struggle against apartheid in South Africa set in place a struggle against apartheid worldwide. Given UWC’s proud history of solidarity with the oppressed, and its adherence to the principles of human rights, social justice and international humanitarian law, we voice our alarm at the loss of innocent lives in Israel and Palestine.
We call for an end to the structural and military violence in occupied Palestine and an end to the repressive institutionalised oppression that Palestinians continue to endure. We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and all the innocent in the region who are suffering immensely.