Caabu and Medical Aid for Palestinians hold major Parliamentary reception on Gaza

On 26 February Caabu and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) held a major Parliamentary reception at which the focus was squarely on the horrific situation facing Palestinians in Gaza. A gathering of MPs, Lords, former Ministers, aid agencies, human rights groups and others heard from a variety of distinguished speakers about the situation on the ground at an event hosted by Caabu Chair, Rt Hon David Jones MP. 

Dr Khaled Dawas, a surgeon and the head of the GI surgery service at University College Hospital London, recounted his traumatic experiences in Gaza as a member of Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP)’s and the International Rescue Committee’s joint emergency medical team.  He said: 

"At night I listened to our Gazan MAP colleagues. “Nobody cares”, they said. They see the machines of destruction and political cover being provided to their occupiers and aggressors given by our states. They continue:  "They want us out, I do want my wife and children to be safe, but I’d rather stay here and be killed. I won’t go and live in a tent in Sinai as my parents did in 1948”. Everyone knows what the Israelis are trying to do."


Melanie Ward, the CEO of MAP made a heartfelt speech about the challenges her team faces in Gaza but also questioned the differing standards towards Israeli and Palestinian civilians. “If we say - as we rightly do that it was wrong to kill Israeli civilians and take and hold hostages on 7 October, or indeed on any day - why is it that so many people in this country, who are members of this Parliament, cannot say the same about the killing of Palestinian civilians. That so many evidently believe that all lives are not of equal value.” 

The Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, Dr Husam Zomlot, called on the UK to take action to bring the fighting to an end but to insist on accountability so this would never happen again. The Ambassador spoke of the total destruction of Gaza, mass displacement, people dying of infectious diseases with nowhere to seek treatment and children dying of an imposed famine. “I am not going to mince my words here, this IS a genocide.  Every single person in here who still fails to call unequivocally for an immediate and permanent ceasefire is complicit.” 


Caabu’s Director, Chris Doyle made three pleas to politicians.  Firstly, to keep pressuring the government for a ceasefire, for full humanitarian access, to get hostages and detainees released; for proper accountability and a lasting political solution; secondly to not allow party politics in an election year to get in the way of securing a united Parliamentary voice calling for an end to fighting; and finally, not to be distracted and to keep the focus firmly on the plight of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza who as the International Court of Justice determined, may be facing genocide.  


Photo credit to Ayman Alhussein. @eymensy on Instagram. His website can be found here.