On Monday 13 November Keighley Town Council held an extraordinary meeting to discuss the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza. The Full Council unanimously agreed that a Ceasefire is needed as soon as possible to protect all innocent lives impacted by the current conflict between Israel and Hamas. You can read the approved council motion below.
We have seen the appalling heartbreaking scenes Gaza. Civilian deaths continue to rise at a staggering rate amid relentless Israeli bombardment, in response to the horrific attacks in Israel by Hamas and other armed groups that resulted in 1,400 people killed and the abduction of civilians. More than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Gaza including through indiscriminate and other unlawful attacks. More than a third of casualties in Gaza are children and countless bodies are still trapped beneath the rubble. Thousands more face further displacement, dispossession and suffering.
At least 200 Israeli hostages taken by Hamas and other armed groups and held in Gaza remain in danger, and ongoing indiscriminate rocket fire into Israel places civilians at risk.
Israel’s tightened siege of Gaza has blocked the entry of goods, including water, food and fuel leaving more than 2 million people in the Gaza Strip struggling to survive. The humanitarian catastrophes only get worse if the fighting doesn’t stop immediately.
We unequivocally condemn all acts of violence against civilians. We feel very strongly that there needs to be an immediate ceasefire now and humanitarian aid let into Gaza.
A ceasefire would put a stop to unlawful attacks by all parties, halt the mounting death toll in Gaza and enable aid agencies to get life-saving aid, water and medical supplies into the Strip to address the staggering levels of human suffering. It will also allow hospitals to receive life-saving medicines, fuel and equipment they desperately need and to repair damaged wards.
A ceasefire would also provide opportunities to negotiate the release of hostages detained in Gaza and for independent international investigations to take place into the war crimes committed by all parties in order to end long-standing impunity, which will continue to breed further atrocities.
The intensified human catastrophe in Gaza impacts our local community here in Keighley. Recent incidents in Keighley have affected our local businesses. We strongly condemn these acts. We are a diverse town of many faiths and communities and on this we have come together to stand as one.
The motion makes it clear we stand together united against the atrocities we have seen. We will continue to work together to bring us as a town together over the coming days and weeks.
Therefore, Council resolves the following,
• To instruct the Town Clerk to write to the leaders of all political parties represented in the UK Parliament calling for:
1. An immediate ceasefire and an end to Israel’s complete siege of Gaza and all parties to end civilian bloodshed;
2. Humanitarian aid access to Gaza;
3. Investigation of violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, by all parties to the conflict;
4. Address the root cause of the current conflict by promoting dialogue and advocating for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
• To instruct the Town Clerk sends a copy of the letter to Robbie Moore MP seeking his support for an immediate ceasefire and the full council motion as agreed by Council.
• To instruct the Town Clerk to make this Council resolution public via the council website, social media pages and provide copies to the local press.
• To instruct the Town Clerk to make arrangements for a temporary banner with the words “Keighley Demands Immediate Ceasefire” & “Innocent Lives Matter” alongside the Town Council Logo and the international peace symbol to be displayed in a prominent area of the town Centre to show our solidarity with the Palestinian and Israeli civilians.