As we enter the final days of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the East London Mosque expresses deep shock and grief at the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. The appalling destruction of Al-Shifa Hospital, the oldest hospital which was established under the British Mandate in Mandatory Palestine in 1946 and, until recently, the largest and most sophisticated medical facility in the beleaguered Gaza Strip, is the latest example of Israel's systematic dismantling of Gaza's health care system.

The loss of life – reaching a staggering 33,000 deaths, the overwhelming majority of whom are women and children – and the denial of medical care to critically ill patients during the siege is not only a violation of international humanitarian law but also a contravention of teachings of the Abrahamic traditions. Such flagrant disregard for the law and our tradition sets a dangerous precedent for the future, both in times of peace and war.

Confirmed reports from several reputable international bodies, relief agencies and media organisations confirm that Israel has set up "Kill Zones" and targeted British aid workers, which is further evidence that the concerns of the international community are not being heeded. These reports align with the official findings of UK government lawyers – a claim not disputed by the UK Government – who have determined that Israel is breaking international law. These findings are further reinforced by the latest findings of UN  Special Rapporteur on Palestine, Francesca Albanese, in her report “Anatomy of a Genocide.”

The additional provisional measures issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) last week, addressing the worsening conditions and imminent famine in Gaza, underscore the urgent need for action. World leaders must unite to compel Israel to abide by the rules designed to prevent the horrors of the Second World War from recurring.

During this blessed month of Ramadan, we stand in solidarity with our innocent brothers and sisters in Gaza and pray for an end to their suffering. We urge the international community, particularly the UK government, to take immediate, swift and effective measures to end Israel's impunity, ensure the delivery of vital aid, and publicly advocate and establish an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. 

May the spirit of Ramadan bring peace, healing, and justice to the people of Palestine. Ameen.

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