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Financial Times joins growing call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

October 31, 2023 at 2:15 pm

The British business and economic current affairs newspaper Financial Times (FT) logo is seen at a newsstand [Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images]

The Financial Times has become the latest voice to join the urgent calls for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, as the civilian death toll from Israel’s devastating military assault continues to mount.

An FT editorial condemned what it called Israel’s “collective punishment” of Palestinians that has killed over 8,400 people so far, including 3,500 children. The death toll is widely expected to surpass the 1995 genocide of Muslims in Srebrenica.

READ: South Africa, the crime of genocide looms large in Gaza

Urging an immediate ceasefire, the FT described the horrifying situation where bodies are piled in trucks, children are pulled from rubble, and basic services have collapsed.

It also slammed the US for quibbling over casualty figures and said that President Joe Biden must instead put pressure on Israel to “protect civilians and respect the rules of war.” The editorial pointed out that the scale of the devastation is plain for all to see.

Citing UN alarm over violations of international law, the FT insisted that Israel must lift its siege of Gaza and allow much more humanitarian aid into the coastal enclave. It warned the occupation state against falling into the trap of enabling Hamas to capitalise on Palestinian suffering to bolster its cause.

READ: Saudi Arabia slams Israeli ground operation in Gaza, calls for immediate truce

The scathing criticism from the influential newspaper underscores the growing chorus demanding that Israel must halt its bombardment. The destruction and loss of civilian life have both become too serious to ignore. A UN General Assembly resolution for an “urgent, durable, and permanent humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza” was adopted late last Friday.

The resolution urged the cessation of hostilities and was proposed by Jordan and co-sponsored by nearly 50 countries, including Turkiye. It was passed with 120 votes in favour, 45 abstentions and, shamefully, 14 votes against. Israel and the US were among those who voted against the ceasefire as were Fiji, Guatemala, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay and Tonga.