More than 2,000 artists demand ending support for Israel’s actions

More than 2,000 artists demand ending support for Israel’s actions

‘In the words of the UN’s undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, ‘the spectre of death’ is hanging over the territory," says letter

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) - More than 2,000 artists demanded an "immediate ceasefire" and the opening of Gaza’s crossings Tuesday to allow residents to leave the enclave amid increasing tension in the region.

Artists for Palestine UK released a letter signed by more than 2,000 artists that include famous novelists, singers, playwrights, filmmakers as well as famed actors and actors such as Tilda Swinton, Charles Dance, Steve Coogan, Miriam Margolyes and Peter Mullan.

"We are witnessing a crime and a catastrophe. Israel has reduced much of Gaza to rubble, and cut off the supply of water, power, food and medicine to 2.3 million Palestinians. In the words of the UN’s undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, ‘the spectre of death’ is hanging over the territory," it said.

Noting Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant's remarks about "human animals" in Gaza, the letter said Palestinians have now become people to whom "almost anything can be done."

The letter criticized governments that expressed support for Israel and it said there will come a time when they are held to account "for their complicity."

"But for now, while condemning every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them, our obligation is to do all we can to bring an end to the unprecedented cruelty being inflicted on Gaza," it said.

The letter reiterated the signatories’ stance against the "destruction of Gaza" and mass displacement of Palestinians, and demanded governments end their military and political support for Israel’s actions.

Israel's bombardment and blockade of the Gaza Strip has continued for 11 days, with more than 1 million people displaced -- almost half of Gaza's population, according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The fighting began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood -- a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air.

Hamas said the Oct. 7 incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased violence by Israeli settlers.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

At least 2,848 Palestinians, including 750 children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, while the death toll from such Israeli attacks in the West Bank has reached 60.

More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed in the armed conflict.





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