Issued on behalf of the leaders of the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative groups, Cllr Claire Young, Cllr Ian Boulton and Cllr Samuel Bromiley
Our hearts go out to all who are suffering in Israel and Palestine, and we grieve for the loss of innocent life.
We stand in solidarity with everyone in South Gloucestershire who has been affected by events in Israel and Palestine. Our thoughts are with all those who fear for the safety of their loved ones or grieve for those lost.
We condemn unequivocally Hamas’ terrorist attack. Their actions have set back the cause of peace and resulted in terrible suffering for innocent civilians. We echo demands for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.
We recognise that both Israelis and Palestinians are suffering as a result of Hamas’ actions. Hamas terrorists are not the same as the Palestinian people. It is vital that while terrorists are targeted, civilians are protected, and that vital supplies are able to enter Gaza, in line with international law.
We must not allow these tragic events to divide our communities here in South Gloucestershire. We are deeply saddened to see the increase in antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents in this country following this awful violence. While we are pleased that there have not been any reported incidents of this nature in South Gloucestershire, we must of course remain vigilant. Lasting peace can only be achieved by bringing people together and rejecting division.
We call on the UK government to do all that it can to support our citizens who are affected by this violence and to help bring about peace in the region.