Scottish Parliament Motion Urges Ceasefire in Gaza by SNP


 london ( Parliament Politics Maganize ) An MSP from the SNP has proposed a resolution urging an instant cessation of hostilities in Gaza. This development follows the Scottish Greens’ submission of their motion on the issue, and Alba’s similar announcement, although the latter hasn’t been posted on the Scottish Parliament’s website as of now.

Kaukab Stewart has filed a motion titled “Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza and Israel,” urging the UK Government to insist on “halting the lethal military operations,” emphasizing the absence of justification for causing terror or harming innocent civilians.

Widespread Condemnation Regarding Loss of Lives

The Parliament acknowledges the appeals for an instantaneous ceasefire in Gaza and Israel. It also takes note of the widespread condemnation regarding the loss of lives in the recent conflict, particularly highlighting a brutal terrorist attack in Israel on October 7, 2023, resulting in approximately 1,400 reported casualties.

 Furthermore, it laments the significant toll on life in Gaza, where more than 10,000 people are reported to have lost their lives during the ongoing conflict. The Parliament condemns all forms of violence in the region and recognizes the prevailing belief that a cessation of hostilities is imperative to facilitate diplomatic discussions aimed at safeguarding innocent civilians.

Additionally, the Parliament underscores the appeals directed towards the UK Government, emanating from various quarters, including communities within the Glasgow Kelvin constituency. These calls urge the UK Government to collaborate with other United Nations, playing a proactive role in demanding a cessation of lethal military operations in Gaza.

Furthermore, there is a collective plea for the government to take action against those accountable for the terror attacks experienced by Israel. The Parliament maintains a firm conviction that there is no valid justification for instigating terror or causing harm to innocent civilians. As a resolute stance against violence in any manifestation, the Parliament vehemently condemns it in all its forms.

Urging Parliament to Endorse a Ceasefire

The proposed motion exhibits nuance in comparison to those formulated by the Greens and Alba, as it refrains from explicitly urging Parliament to endorse a ceasefire, a stance already taken by the Welsh Parliament. Notably, the Green motion has garnered bipartisan backing, with support from MSPs spanning the SNP, Labour, and the Greens.

While Stewart’s motion is yet to secure substantial cross-party support, notable endorsements include those from Labor’s Katy Clark, the Greens’ Ross Greer and Maggie Chapman, as well as the SNP’s Kevin Stewart. The Green motion expresses support for the United Nations Secretary General’s appeal for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The Alba motion is set to state that the Parliament calls for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the killing of all innocents in the Middle East. It also asserts the belief that individuals from Hamas who have committed terrorist atrocities against Israelis should be prosecuted as criminals. However, it emphasizes that such acts of terror should not justify a disproportionate and illegal military response by the government of Israel.

The Parliament is urging the UK Government to endorse an immediate ceasefire, advocate for justice for the Palestinian people, and facilitate the provision and safe evacuation of Israeli hostages and civilians from the conflict zone.

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Encouraging Individuals to Reach Out to MSPs

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign is encouraging individuals to reach out to their MSPs in support of these motions. This includes a specific focus on a Labour motion addressing arms sales to Israel.  The campaign underscores the importance of making one’s voice heard publicly and emphasizes the significance of collective efforts in influencing decision-making. Their message on Instagram encourages people to convey that their voices matter most when they are actively engaged in promoting transparency and public awareness.

Clark’s motion addressing arms sales to Israel urges the Scottish Parliament to convey its disappointment over the UK Government’s failure to suspend arms sales to Israel. Additionally, the motion calls on the Scottish Government to promptly suspend the allocation of publicly-funded grants to arms companies that possess export licenses for selling arms to Israel.

The intent is to voice dissatisfaction with the ongoing arms sales and to take concrete action by halting the financial support provided to companies engaged in such transactions. A shadow minister informed PoliticsHome that the Labour leader might adopt a similar strategy to Mark Drakeford, the leader of Welsh Labour. Drakeford permitted a free vote when Plaid Cymru initiated a vote on a ceasefire in the Senedd (Welsh Parliament). 

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.