Israeli military jet (archive image from Twitter)

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), has expressed deep concern at Israel’s latest escalation of violence against the besieged population of Gaza, which has included ongoing airstrikes, and heavy shelling, Palestine News Network reported.

Early reports indicate that there have been a number of casualties, and that a range of civilian targets have been hit, including a building belonging to the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights.

Israel’s renewal of bombing began with the extrajudicial assassination of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Commander Baha Abu Al Ata at his home in Gaza, in which his wife was also killed, and the targeting of a home belonging to another PIJ official in Damascus, Syria.

This clearly premeditated killing is in violation of international law.

In carrying out the killing the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Aviv Kohavi has made Israel’s attentions clear in a televised address, stating “we are preparing for escalation from the ground, air and sea.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to justify the extra judicial killing and the bombing campaign as acts of self defence.

However, PSC has highlighted that these acts occur in the context of Israel maintaining an illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, now in its 52nd year, in violation of international law.

The inhumane and illegal siege of Gaza, now in its 12th year, is rendering such desperate conditions of life, that the UN declared that the Gaza strip will not be fit for human habitation by 2020, unless the siege is lifted.

The PSC stressed that any violence used in the context of Israel sustaining an illegal occupation cannot, by definition, be justified by self defence.

The attacks came just one day after Israeli soldiers, in Hebron, were filmed shooting a 22 year old Palestinian dead from Hebron, a killing condemned by Nickolay Mladenov, Uited Nations Special coordinator for The Middle East Peace Process, who called for an investigation given that the victim, Omar A. Badawi, was clearly posing no threat when he was shot.

Ben Jamal, Director of PSC, said: “The failure of the international community, including the U.K. government, to hold Israel to account results in Israel believing it can carry out extra judicial killings and bombing assaults with impunity.”

“Whilst the U.K. continues to arm Israel despite its violations of human rights and contraventions of international law, we are made complicit in these acts.”

“We call upon all U.K. citizens committed to human rights and the rule of law, to join us in our campaign to pressure the U.K. government and companies to end this complicity.”

Palestine Solidarity Campaign called on the UK Government to condemn Israel’s latest escalation, including its policy of targeted assassination, and to demand that Israel ends its bombing campaign.

In addition, it called on the UK to call on Israel to end the siege of Gaza which amounts to collective punishment, illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

It also called on the U.K. to fulfil its duties under international law, to hold Israel to account for its ongoing illegal occupation that it is only sustainable though such acts of illegitimate violence.

In this regard PSC reiterates its call for an end to the U.K.’s sale of weapons to Israel, as they are used to violate Palestinian human rights.

Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam

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