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Council calls for Gaza ceasefire

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Front
Council calls for Gaza ceasefire

DUMFRIES and Galloway Council is to urge the UK Government to take decisive action and demand an immediate ceasefire to the conflict in Gaza.

Councillors from all political backgrounds voted unanimously last week to write to the region’s MPs and Westminster calling on them to press for “an end to civilian bloodshed and ensuring humanitarian aid access to Gaza.”

While elected members admitted that this region is a “small voice” in a big world of people witnessing the horrors on the TV, they insisted it was important to make a stand and put pressure on the UK Government.

Lochar Councillor Tracey Little tabled a motion at last week’s full council meeting, and said: “The unparalleled escalation of hostilities between Israel, Hamas and other armed groups has taken a devastating toll on the civilian population of Gaza. The level of casualties and scale of destruction in the occupied Gaza Strip is unprecedented.

“Countless lives have been shattered, ripped apart, and upended and nearly two hundred remain held hostage, including children and elderly.

“With each day that passes more lives are lost and the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is getting worse.”

She pointed out much of Gaza has been destroyed and at least 75 percent of its entire population is now internally displaced, while healthcare has been wrecked and supplies are running out.

Cllr Little added: “The shockingly high death toll, widespread destruction, engineered hunger and malnutrition, deliberate denial of humanitarian aid are all warning signs of genocide.

“With no end in sight to the death and destruction we are witnessing, now, more than ever humanity must prevail. It is our collective responsibility.”

Dee and Glenkens Councillor Andy McFarlane seconded the motion, saying: “We should not stand idly by and acquiesce to what is taking place.”

Annandale East and Eskdale Councillor Archie Dryburgh said: “Dumfries and Galloway Council is a small voice in a big world, but it’s a voice – and we need to show it at the end of the day.”

Stranraer and the Rhins Councillor Willie Scobie said: “What we see on the TV in national news and on social media is collective punishment on an unprecedented and unparalleled level.

“We should be calling on the UK government to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, and to look for a resolution.”

Council leader Gail Macgregor will write to the region’s MPs and the UK Government, urging them to press for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

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