PSP’s Position on the Israel-Hamas Conflict

Mr Speaker Sir,

The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) supports the Motion brought to this House by hon Member Vikram Nair and also the amendments by hon Member Alex Yam today.

Like many Singaporeans, the PSP is distressed and saddened by the tragic violence and loss of life in Israel and the Gaza Strip since Hamas launched its attacks in Southern Israel on 7 October 2023 and the subsequent retaliatory military actions taken by Israel.

We unequivocally condemn the violence committed by both sides against innocent civilians, especially women and children. The lives of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians must be protected.

We strongly support the United Nations Resolution ES-10/21 on October 28 calling for a humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip. We call for Hamas to immediately and unconditionally return all civilian hostages safely to their families and to facilitate a ceasefire and for Israel to respond favourably to such a move if it happens.

We call on Israel to comply with international law, including the Geneva Conventions and the UN Charter. Israel must not collectively punish a captive civilian population, nearly half of which are children and teenagers under age 18, in the Gaza Strip. Israel must immediately rescind its order for Palestinian civilians, which includes gravely sick patients in hospitals, and UN staff to evacuate from northern Gaza Strip to southern Gaza Strip.

More than a million Palestinians in Gaza have been internally displaced by the recent conflict. This internal displacement must not be allowed to evolve into a repeat of the Nakba in 1948, when 700,000 Palestinians were permanently displaced from their towns and villages. We must prevent the Palestinians in Gaza from being permanently displaced to Egypt or any other nation.

Even before the recent events, the living conditions in Gaza have been difficult for the Palestinians. Israel must immediately allow all humanitarian aid to be delivered into Gaza and fully restore civilian access to fuel, food, water, medical aid and other basic necessities.

PSP supports Singapore’s long-held position that just, enduring and comprehensive peace in the Middle East must be based on a two-state solution based on relevant UN Security Resolutions.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a long-standing and complex issue dating back to and beyond the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. It is also an issue that is of interest to the main communities of our society.

We urge the Government to enhance education on the Israeli-Palestinian history in the future so that Singaporeans can have more accurate and complete information on the conflict. This will help to reduce the risk of Singaporeans being swayed by biased, inaccurate or one-sided emotional discourse, which we have seen on both traditional and social media platforms.

We urge Singaporeans from all communities to be mindful of what we say and do regarding this issue, especially on online forums. We all have the responsibility to refrain from engaging in inflammatory rhetoric that could threaten the peace and harmony that we enjoy in Singapore. We call on all Singaporeans to report any signs of potential radicalisation to the authorities.

In line with this, PSP rejects any attempts by foreign players to influence Singaporeans or dictate to Singapore what could be done in relation to this conflict. Singapore’s position on all our foreign policy and domestic issues should be for Singaporeans to decide only. For country, for people.

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