Over 80 000 persons have been forced to flee their homes, with many seeking shelter in UNRWA-run schools which have been overwhelmed with families seeking safety.
Israel has warned of further escalation, while Hamas has so far refused a ceasefire without pre-conditions. A three-day general strike in the West Bank has begun in protest at Israel’s actions.
The ITUC has called for many years for the lifting of the Gaza blockade and the removal of the separation wall as basic steps to end a 60-year conflict. “It is time to recognise legal rights for Palestinians and to implement the Security Council’s resolutions in this regard, and enable Palestinians to have their independent sovereign state. There is a need for an immediate and energetic international community intervention to stop the bloodshed and move forward for peace and an agreement that respects the legitimacy of international law," said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.