Bilal Malkawi and Mokhtar Hili (both furthest right) with Palestinian unionists in Gaza
A union mission has brought much needed support and solidarity to the people of Gaza in Palestine, who have been facing devastation caused by Israel’s latest military assaults.The delegation, which visited Gaza on 27 November, included: ITF executive board member and head of the Fédération Nationale des Transports in Tunisia Mokhtar Hili; head of the Palestinian General Union for Transport Workers Naser Younes; ITF Arab World regional secretary Bilal Malkawi and International Trade Union Confederation general secretary Sharon Burrow. Joined by representatives from other Arab trade union federations, the group went to see for themselves the ports, hospitals, schools and industrial and agricultural facilities destroyed following Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip last month.
The visit aimed to show solidarity with the Palestinian people, including members and representatives of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions in Gaza. They also wanted to witness firsthand the experiences of working people living under a blockade restricting the entry of goods into Gaza.
During the visit, Malkawi commented: “Israel has attacked Gaza’s airport and seaport, and imposed air and sea blockades on the Gaza Strip. I urge Sharon Burrow to call for the blockades to be lifted, just as the road sector blockade has been. I hope that our next journey will be through the sea or airport of Gaza, breaking through the blockades.” He also stressed the need for unionists to continue to visit the Gaza Strip to reaffirm their backing for the people living and working there.
The ITF’s Mexico City congress passed a resolution confirming that the federation would do all it could to support the people of Gaza.