An urgent call from Palestinian Trade Unions: End all complicity, Stop arming Israel

This slightly edited call to action was issued on Oct. 16, 2023, by Palestinian trade unions.  

Israel has demanded that 1.1 million Palestinians evacuate the northern half of Gaza, while subjecting them to constant bombardment. This ruthless move is part of Israel’s plan, backed by unwavering support and active participation from the U.S. and a majority of European states, to carry out unprecedented and heinous massacres against 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza and to ethnically cleanse it altogether. 

Since Saturday [Oct. 14] Israel has indiscriminately and intensively bombarded Gaza and cut off fuel, electricity, water, food and medical supplies. Israel has killed more than 2,600 Palestinians — including 724 children — leveling whole neighborhoods, wiping out entire families and injuring more than 10,000 people. Some international law experts have begun warning of Israel’s genocidal acts.

Elsewhere, Israel’s far-right government has distributed more than 10,000 rifles to extremist settlers in ‘48 Palestine and the occupied West Bank to facilitate their escalating attacks and pogroms against Palestinians. 

Israel’s actions, massacres and rhetoric point to its intention to implement its long promised second Nakba, expelling as many Palestinians as possible and creating a “New Middle East” in which Palestinians live in perpetual subjugation.

The response by Western states has been one of complete and total support for the state of Israel, without even a cursory nod towards international law. This has amplified Israel impunity, giving it carte blanche to carry out its genocidal war without limit. Beyond diplomatic support, Western states are supplying Israel with armament, sanctioning the operation of Israeli weapons companies within their borders.

As Israel escalates its military campaign, Palestinian trade unions call on our counterparts internationally and all people of conscience to end all forms of complicity with Israel’s crimes — most urgently halting the arms trade with Israel, as well as all funding and military research. The time for action is now — Palestinian lives hang in the balance.

This urgent, genocidal situation can only be prevented by a mass increase of global solidarity with the people of Palestine that can restrain the Israeli war machine. 

We need you to take immediate action — wherever you are in the world — to prevent the arming of the Israeli state and the companies involved in the infrastructure of the blockade. We take inspiration from previous mobilizations by trade unions in Italy, South Africa and the United States and similar international mobilizations against the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in the 1930s, the fascist dictatorship in Chile in the 1970s and elsewhere where global solidarity limited the extent of colonial brutality.

We are calling on trade unions in relevant industries:

  1. To refuse to build weapons destined for Israel.
  2. To refuse to transport weapons to Israel.
  3. To pass motions in their trade union to this effect.
  4. To take action against complicit companies involved in implementing Israel’s brutal and illegal siege, especially if they have contracts with your institution.
  5. Pressure governments to stop all military trade with Israel and, in the case of the U.S., stop funding it.

We make this call as we see attempts to ban and silence all forms of solidarity with the Palestinian people. We ask you to speak out and take action in the face of injustice as trade unions have done historically. 

We make this call in the belief that the struggle for Palestinian justice and liberation is not only a regionally and globally determined struggle. It is a lever for the liberation of all dispossessed and exploited people of the world.


Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, Gaza

General Union of Public Service and Trade Workers

General Union of Municipal Workers

General Union of Kindergarten Workers

General Union of Petrochemicals Workers

General Union of Agricultural Workers

Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees

Generation Union of Media and Print Workers

Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU)

General Union of Palestinian Teachers

General Union of Palestinian Women

General Union of Palestinian Engineers

Palestinian Accountants’ Association

Professional Associations Federation including:

Palestinian Dental Association – Jerusalem Center

Palestinian Pharmacists Association – Jerusalem Center

Medical Association – Jerusalem Center

Engineers Association – Jerusalem Center

Agricultural Engineers Association – Jerusalem Center

Veterinarians Syndicate – Jerusalem Branch

Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate

Palestinian Bar Association

Palestinian Nursing and Midwifery Association

Union of Kindergarten Workers

Palestinian Postal Service Workers Union

Federation of Unions of Palestinian University Professors & Employees

The General Federation of Independent Trade Unions, Palestine

The Palestine New Federation of Trade Unions

Palestinian General Union of Writers

Palestinian Contractors Union

Federation of Health Professionals Syndicates

Palestinian Union of Psychologists and Social Workers

To get involved, contact us at: [email protected]

X [Twitter]: @WorkersinPales1

Instagram: workersinpalestine

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