‘Stop the slaughter’: Oldham MPs and faith leaders deliver Gaza petition to No 10 urging Government action

An Oldham MP called for Government intervention to stop the ‘slaughter of innocent children’ in Gaza as she joined community leaders in Downing Street yesterday to hand in an 8,000-strong petition.

Deborah Abrahams joined other representatives of the town at number 10 urging the Government to take action to halt the hostilities between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, branding current efforts ‘undemocratic’.

The search for a lasting ceasefure to the conflict is ongoing as more than 500,000 people have been displaced and the death toll has now topped 1,800. The majority of the deceased are believed to be civilians on the Palestinian side.

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Abrahams said: “I made the suggestion that Oldham’s petition should call on Parliament to be recalled to debate what’s happening in Gaza because I’m absolutely horrified by what can only be described as the slaughter of Palestinian people, including innocent children.

“We must keep the pressure up for an immediate, and meaningful, ceasefire that stops the disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks by the Israeli Government on defenceless civilians.

“MPs have not had an opportunity to debate this issue other than to ask a question when there’s been a statement on Gaza. This is unsatisfactory and undemocratic.”

Chadderton North councillor Fazlul Haque and Tariq Rafique represented the Oldham Race Equality Partnership in London.

Abrahams was also joined by Councillor Arooj Shah, Michael Meacher MP as well as Rev Howard Sutcliffe and Rev. Jean Hurlston from the Oldham Interfaith Forum and Jahangir Khan, a resident of the town.

The group handed in the petition, which now has a signature count of 8,303, yesterday.

The petition read: “We, the people of Oldham, call upon the United Kingdom government and the European Union to act now to protect civilians on all sides and stop the suffering in Gaza.”

Councillor Shah, Oldham Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Policy and Communications, led the delegation.

He said: “Oldham has a history of supporting innocent civilians who are suffering through war and conflict and I am proud that hundreds of people from across the borough have pledged their support by signing this petition.

“They are telling the government we want an immediate end to the violence in Gaza and that we want our politicians to use their influence to do all that they can to make this happen.

“This is a view shared by communities across Oldham, irrespective of ethnicity or faith.

“Hundreds of men, women and children have already lost their lives and this has to stop immediately.”

Oldham Council has also announced that there is to be an event in September to discuss the role of locals in future of the Israel/Palestine conflict. 

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