GCTU STATEMENT in connection with the seizure by Israeli troops of a humanitarian convoy in international waters

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The General Confederation of Trade Unions affiliating national trade union centres in countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and industry-based Trade Union Internationals of the region strongly condemns the actions by Israel whose armed forces seized, in the early hours of May 31 in international waters of the Mediterranean, the Freedom Flotilla convoy bound for the Palestinian Sector of Gaza with a load of humanitarian aid on board.

According to reports, at least 19 unarmed people accompanying the load were killed and dozens of others wounded in the course of the operation. Whatever reasons Israeli authorities might give to justify this outrageous raid, it arouses righteous indignation among the United Nations, the world public, and the international trade union movement.

The GCTU regrets deeply the fact of people having been killed and wounded as a result of the Israeli actions, and expresses its sincere condolences with the families and relatives of the killed, and sympathy with the injured. We demand an immediate impartial enquiry into the incident and severe punishment of those responsible for it.

The General Confederation of Trade Unions calls for putting an end to violence in the region, lifting the Israeli blockade of Gaza on the conditions of full implementation of UN Resolutions 1850 and 1860, and enabling a free flow of humanitarian supplies to the local population. The world community must do its best to help a rapid peaceful settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict, based on the principles of peaceful coexistence of the two sides, and securing the existence of an independent and sustainable Palestinian state.

We express our solidarity with all forces in the trade union movement that are promoting the achievement of this aim.

General Confederation of Trade Unions

Moscow, 1 June 2010