Education International
Education International

EI calls for exemption of education institutions from conflict in Palestine

published 6 January 2009 updated 6 January 2009

Education International (EI), which represents 30 million educators worldwide, including the teachers’ organizations of Israel and Palestine, calls on the governments in both Gaza and Israel to do everything possible to prevent more children becoming victims of the current violence.

“Targeting schools in warfare is as immoral as using education institutions as a cover for military action”, says EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen. Education institutions must at all cost be protected as safe havens in which students may continue to receive their education.

Education International deplores continued military hostilities and calls for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence. It endorses the position adopted by the International Trade Union Confederation (as set out in the statement below) in which it seeks an immediate cease-fire and encourages EI member organisations to contribute to the ITUC appeal for humanitarian assistance for the people of Gaza. ITUC is in a position to ensure that such assistance is distributed to those most in need.

Organisations wishing to contribute to the appeal should transfer an amount to the EI solidarity fund:

ING Bank Address: 1 rue du Trône, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium Account: 310-100 6170-75 B SWIFT code: BB RUBE BB 100 IBAN code: BE05 3101 0061 7075 Message: "Contributions to ITUC’s Gaza Appeal by (Name of your Organisation)"

ITUC Demands Immediate Gaza Cease-Fire, Launches Humanitarian Appeal

With the death and injury toll in the conflict between Israel and Hamas continuing to rise, the ITUC again calls for an immediate cease-fire and a major aid effort to bring much-needed assistance to the people of Gaza. More than 500 people, including some 100 civilians, are believed to have been killed in Gaza since Israel’s escalating military reaction to Hamas missile attacks began 10 days ago. Around 2,500 Gazans have been wounded, and at least four Israelis have been killed and several injured by the rocket attacks. In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the ITUC has called on the UN to “exercise its authority to bring about an immediate cease-fire and open the way for renewed impetus to the peace process”. Despite news that an aid convoy and fuel for electricity generation and cooking have now been allowed into Gaza, the humanitarian situation is extremely serious and can only be properly alleviated when a cease-fire is in place.

“The international community must immediately apply the necessary pressure to stop the fighting and move urgently to deal with the humanitarian crisis. Ultimately, dialogue and negotiation are the only way this conflict can be solved, but that is unlikely to happen unless and until those countries which can influence events bring that influence to bear,” said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder. “A just and equitable solution, based on international law and with two sovereign states co-existing in conditions of peace, is the outcome which all but the most extreme interests want to see. The current round of conflict puts this yet further out of reach. Whatever the provocations, the time for both sides to cease fire is now,” he added.

The ITUC, working with its affiliates in Palestine (PGFTU) and Jordan (GFJTU) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and other Global Union Federations, is launching an appeal for humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, focusing on urgently-needed food and medical relief.’