Agenda item

Agenda item

Back Oxford communities, Oxfam, and Oxford based medical workers, demanding immediate Gaza ceasefire (proposed by Cllr Shaista Aziz, seconded by Cllr Amar Latif)

Independent Group Motion

This council notes the UN describes Gaza as a “graveyard for children”[1], with almost 5,000 Palestinian children killed amongst more than 11,000 Palestinians in Israel’s military onslaught on Gaza, including refugee camps, hospitals, medical centres, ambulances, Universities, and neighbourhoods bombed.

Save the Children say more children have been killed in Gaza than the entire number killed in global conflicts since 2019.[2]
Journalists, doctors, surgeons, nurses, paramedics and aid workers have been killed The Committee to Protect Journalists say 39 Palestinian journalists have been killed since November 8th, the highest number of journalists killed in conflict since 1992.[3]
The UN says Palestinians in Gaza are surviving on two pieces of bread a day, water is rationed and people including pregnant women are drinking contaminated sea water.[4]
And yet Oxford City Council leader and Oxford East MP refuse to call for a ceasefire, in contrast to Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford and Abingdon West, Layla Moran and our Lord Mayor. Oxford’s four main mosques issued a statement calling for the leader of this council and Oxford East MP, to do so, and despite ten Labour councillors resigning over Labour leader Keir Starmer’s dehumanising rhetoric on LBC Radio seemingly endorsing collective punishment of Palestinians.[5]
Polls show 70% of the British public surveyed want a ceasefire, like us they condemn Hamas for their atrocities in Israel and want hostages returned unharmed immediately.[6]
Oxfam, based in Cowley, is calling for a ceasefire.[7]
Oxford based surgeon Nick Maynard leads a teaching initiative in Gaza and says medics  are “trying to treat patients despite knowing they may die as a result of hospitals being bombed and surrounded by Israeli soldiers.”[8]

According to Gaza Medic Voices, more than 200 healthcare workers have been killed.[9]
This Council agrees that

1.     The government, the Labour Party and local MPs should be calling for an immediate ceasefire;

2.     It stands in solidarity with Layla Moran MP and her family in Gaza;

3.     That it has concerns about the Israeli army and settler violence and intimidation of Palestinians in Ramallah, twinned with Oxford

4.     That the Council stands in solidarity with Ramallah

5.     That the Council should seek to use its position and work with all faiths and relevant partners to seek to tackle antisemitism and Islamophobia. 

As such the Council request that the Leader:


1.    Write to Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer and Annelise Dodds, demanding they call for an immediate ceasefire.

2.    Write to Layla Moran, MP, to express the Council’s solidarity with and her family in Gaza

3.    Write to the Foreign Secretary to raise concerns about Israeli army and settler violence and intimidation of Palestinians in Ramallah, twinned with Oxford.

4.    Invite the mayor of Ramallah to provide an address to full council meeting (via video link) to discuss the crisis in the West Bank, so we can express in person that the Council is in solidarity with Ramallah

5.    Seek to convene an urgent meeting of religious leaders including Jewish and Muslim leaders and community safety stakeholders to discuss how to tackle antisemitism and Islamophobia.


This motion was not taken as the time allocated for debate had finished.