A Plaid Cymru Councillor from Pwllheli wants to see Gwynedd Council set a precedent and make a clear statement during a time of war that Gwynedd is a place that upholds peace, respect and support.
Councillor Elin Hywel will present a notice of motion at Gwynedd’s full council meeting (Thursday 7 December) calling for the support of all councillors: “The point of this proposal is clear - total condemnation of violent and war like activity against civilians.
“There is nothing that can justify the actions of Hamas who attack the ordinary people of Israel and take hostages and then refuse to release them immediately. And Israel's disproportionate response against ordinary Palestinian residents amounts to collective punishment, which is a violation of international law. The suffering is all-encompassing.
“I strongly believe that the failure of our governments in Cardiff and London to clearly condemn such loss of life is absolutely disgraceful. It sets a terrifying precedent of what is considered acceptable during a time of war.
“The failure of our governments to lead has encouraged conflict and dispute in our communities. It is the responsibility of Gwynedd Council to fill the void by offering clear guidance to protect the welfare of our communities by encouraging peace, respect and support for all those who have been affected by what is happening in Gaza.
“It is a privilege to be calling for peace from a safe position and maintaining peace is hard work, but Gwynedd is ready to carry out this work.
“There must be a comprehensive programme of aid to Gaza from Wales. I am calling for the support of my fellow councillors in Gwynedd to officially declare a permanent and irreversible ceasefire in Gaza. And beg the Welsh Government, Westminster’s Government and the international community to return to the negotiating table and find a fair and just solution for all the residents of Palestine and Israel. We beg for a peaceful resolution.”
More than 14,500 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by the Israeli army, according to the health ministry run by Hamas in Gaza [end of November when presenting the notice of motion, note that the figure today exceeds 15,000]. 40% of those who have been killed are children.
At least 521 people, including 16 medical workers, have been killed in 137 “attacks on health care” in Gaza since November 12. The attacks, alongside Israeli decisions to cut electricity and water supplies by blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza, severely hampers access to health care.
The United Nations found on November 10 that two-thirds of primary care facilities and half of all hospitals in Gaza are not functioning at a time when medical personnel are dealing with unprecedented numbers of seriously injured patients. Hospitals have run out of medicine and basic equipment.
Councillor Elin Hywel said: “We are aware that Palestinian and Israeli residents have settled here in Gwynedd and that a number of Gwynedd residents have close links with them. We want to play our part to ensure that Gwynedd and Wales is welcoming, is a safe location and that everyone is treated fairly.
“In the midst of such turmoil, we sympathies and mourn with those who have been affected here in Gwynedd and beyond.”
Plaid Cymru Gwynedd Leader, Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn said: “It is extremely sad to see and hear so many stories and images about innocent people being killed and harmed in Gaza and Israel. We plead for a permanent ceasefire and allow the safe release of hostages and ensure that humanitarian aid reaches residents urgently.
“We stand firmly with Israeli and Palestinian residents here in Gwynedd and the whole of Wales, extending a hand of love and care to them during this troubled period."