Green councillors will propose a motion to Exeter’s Full Council meeting on Tuesday urging councillors to back a motion which calls on the UK government to press for an “urgent permanent ceasefire in Gaza, Israel and the rest of Palestine.” It also commits councillors to “explore how the Council can better support and facilitate events for people of all faiths and none, where they can come together and express solidarity and sadness in response to these events” .
Councillor Tess Read, who will propose the motion on behalf of the Green Group, said:
“The taking of Israeli hostages, followed by the mass killing of innocent people and unprecedented levels of destruction we are now witnessing in Gaza is completely unacceptable. The way to bring an end to the terrible scenes we see broadcast daily - and to ensure remaining Israeli hostages can return home safely - is for there to be an immediate and permanent ceasefire. Ending the violence can create the space needed for an internationally arbitrated settlement to the Israel-Palestine conflict to be negotiated, so that Israeli and Palestinian citizens can live in safety and security with their rights, at last, fully protected.”
Councillor Catherine Rees, who will second the motion, added:
“We urge all councillors to back this motion. Exeter has a proud history of rallying for peace during times of deadly international conflicts. Councillors must be seen to be supporting the desires of the people of Exeter, from a variety of faiths and none, who want to stand in solidarity with those in Palestine and Israel impacted by this deadly war. As a city we need to be ready to provide support and open our arms to innocent people displaced and affected by these terrible events.”
 Full motion to Council (see agenda item 10)
Expresses deep sympathy for all those affected by the conflict in Israel and Palestine. To those in the Exeter area who have been affected by this conflict we offer our support in this difficult time.
Condemns the murder of Israeli civilians, the taking of hostages by Hamas and subsequent death and destruction in Gaza. Believes that the urgent priority must be to stop the deaths and suffering of any more civilians in Gaza, Israel and the rest of Palestine.
Hopes for an immediate further release of all hostages and release of Palestinian prisoners held without charge and an immediate permanent ceasefire to allow more aid and the possibility of a peaceful resolution.
Believes the tragic recent events in Israel, Gaza and Palestine must not be allowed to divide our communities in Exeter.
Believes Jews, Muslims and people of all faiths and none should feel safe in our city.
Condemns the increase in anti-Semitic and Islamophobia violence and abuse in the UK and believes all forms of racism have no place in our city.
The Council resolves to:
(i) explore how the Council can better support and facilitate events for people of all faiths and none, where they can come together and express solidarity and sadness in response to these events.
(ii) offer appropriate support to any local resident who needs our assistance as a result of these violent events.
(iii) stand ready to provide support and open our arms to innocent people displaced and affected by these events.
The Council also calls on the UK Government to press all parties to agree:
(i) to an urgent permanent ceasefire in Gaza, Israel and the rest of Palestine and to make every effort to resume the peace process;
(ii) to guarantee that international humanitarian law is upheld and that civilians are protected in accordance with those laws;
(iii) to ensure that civilians have access to humanitarian support, including unfettered access of medical supplies, food, electricity, other fuel and water.
The Council requests the Chief Executive of the Council to submit this motion to the UK Government.