SINGAPORE — The Workers’ Party (WP) has called on Israel to “reject the collective punishment of innocent civilians”, cease all military operations in the Gaza Strip and allow for the transit of humanitarian aid into Gaza.
In a media statement posted on the opposition party’s Facebook page on Wednesday (Oct 18), it also “called for the immediate return of all Israeli hostages captured” by Hamas during its attacks on Israel on Oct 7.
“De-escalation by all parties must be followed by a withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories, followed by serious negotiations to achieve a lasting peace in the Holy Land,” added WP.
“A peace that legitimises the existence of the state of Israel, and establishes a viable Palestinian state.”
Palestinian militant group launched a highly coordinated attack on various parts of Israel on Oct 7, killing some 1,300 people and taking about 200 more as hostages into Gaza.
It is reported to be the worst attack in Israel’s 75-year history and prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare war on Hamas the next day.
Israel has cut off all power, water, food, fuel and medicine supplies into Gaza since the Hamas attack and its air strikes on the Palestinian enclave have resulted in the deaths of at least 3,000 people.
WP said that it received “many emails” and feedback from Singaporeans calling for an immediate end to hostilities and the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.
It added that past military action by Israel in the Gaza Strip in response to militant actions including by Hamas has been “marked by overwhelming disproportionality”.
“We fear this reality will repeat itself in the coming days, weeks and months.
“The flagrant disregard of the Geneva Convention, the United Nations (UN) Charter and other international legal instruments, including the occupation of land taken in war by any sovereign nation — is not in Singapore’s national interests.”
The Geneva Conventions are international treaties establishing rules to protect non-combatants’ rights and well-being during armed conflicts.
“The killing of non-combatants, women and children by any country or organisation, in the name of war, deserves no less than absolute condemnation,” said WP.
It added that it supports Singapore’s long-held position that a two-state solution consistent with UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions is the only viable path to a durable, just and comprehensive resolution to the long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine.
“In particular, UNSC Resolution 242, which is supported by Singapore, calls for the withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian territories occupied since the 1967 war in exchange for a lasting peace with its neighbours.”
The WP also said that the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict is likely to increase attacks against Jews and Muslims elsewhere and also raises the prospect of radicalisation far beyond the Middle East.
This will make the world more unsafe and dangerous for all countries, particularly where multi-racial and multi-cultural communities live in peace and harmony.
“All Singaporeans should be aware and mindful of this possibility, and play an active part to prevent it from happening on our shores,” said WP.