The humanitarian impact of the ongoing conflict in Palestine and Israel

Yesterday (1st November), as the First Citizen of Oldham, I voiced the concerns of local people about the humanitarian impact of the ongoing conflict in Palestine and Israel.

In just over three weeks more than 8,000 innocent lives have been lost, more than half of those casualties being women and children.

As fellow human beings our hearts ached for the suffering of those who were victims of the horrendous attacks in Israel on October 7th. Young people murdered, families killed or taken hostage.

And equally, our hearts now ache for the thousands of innocent Palestinians who are caught up in a conflict they have not caused. We are sitting by while buildings full of civilians are bombed, whole neighbourhoods are displaced, while whole families are wiped out in an instant.

We cannot, as fellow human beings, sit by while thousands of innocent children continue to be killed. We cannot turn a blind eye to the deaths of innocents in the name of ‘war’.

This is not a Muslim issue or a Jewish issue – it’s a humanitarian issue.
Today, I will be writing to Rishi Sunak, our Prime Minister, to express my concern about the impact of this conflict and to ask him to use his considerable influence to work towards peace, to ensure humanitarian aid and access for aid workers and to request a ceasefire to safeguard the lives of the innocent now.

The letter will be available in my parlour from lunchtime today.

I would welcome counter signatures from councillors should they wish to support this humanitarian plea.

I am also thankful to all party leaders in Oldham council for supporting my initiatives.