LFI has long been concerned about the plight of the people of Gaza and the terrorist threat posed by Hamas to the people of Israel.
As now, our message has clear-eyed about the need for Hamas to be disarmed; for Gaza to be reunited with the West Bank under the authority of the Palestinian Authority; and for urgent action to both ease the humanitarian situation faced by people in Gaza, as well as planning for the economic revitalisation of the Strip.
Our 2018 Pledge for Gaza called for action to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Gaza; condemned Hamas’ ongoing rearmament, terrorist attacks, tunnel construction and abuse of the human rights of the people of Gaza; urged the international community to honour its post-2014 war reconstruction pledges; and outlined how the Israeli government could assist the economic revitalisation of the Strip.
Our 2022 policy paper “Gaza, Reconstruction, Revitalisation and Reality” set out an ambitious agenda for Gaza. It called for the West Bank and Gaza to be reunified under the PA, which the international community recognises as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people; backed investment in infrastructure and development projects, including a credible monitoring system to ensure that reconstruction materials are not diverted to Hamas; called for an increase in work permits and exports to stimulate the Gazan economy and reduce unemployment and a boost in exit permits for more young Palestinians to study abroad; supported the building of a Gaza seaport to increase external trade and Palestinian economic independence without undermining Israeli security; urged the permanent reopening of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt; and demanded the freeing of Israeli hostages held by Hamas, as well as the bodies of Israeli soldiers being held in Gaza.
Later in 2022, our major project “30 Steps to a Two State Solution” repeatedly highlighted the situation in Gaza. Our first step was to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. We again backed the reunification of the West Bank and Gaza under the PA and supported free elections in both; an increase in work permits and exit permits for people in Gaza; the permanent reopening of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza; and the building of a Gaza seaport. We also demanded Hamas renounce violence and terrorism and release Israeli hostages. And we supported measures to end the repeated conflicts between Israel and Hamas.
Last autumn, days before the 7 October atrocities committed by Hamas, LFI published “Britain and the Middle East: Priorities for the Next Labour Government”. As well as reiterating our long-standing support for a Palestinian state alongside Israel safe and secure within recognised borders, we again called for immediate action to assist Gaza.