The world looks on as the recent twenty-eight day Israeli offensive on Gaza has seen hundreds of Palestinian civilians killed and thousands injured. Many of the casualties have been women and children, as well as entire families taken out in air strikes on houses, schools, mosques and even hospitals.

Yet the international community is silent. Many countries have condemned the attacks on Palestinian civilians and the rockets being fired into Israel, but I think we would all agree on the principle that actions speak louder than words. America and the UK continue to voice their staunch support for Israel supported by the notion that they have ‘the right to defend’ themselves from incoming rockets. But why isn’t this same ‘right’ applied to the Palestinians who are being massacred daily in what is thought to be more deadly than the outbreak of violence that occurred between the two countries back in 2012. There is no doubt that Israel’s heavily funded western-backed army and Iron Dome missile-defence system does not compare in the slightest to the homemade rockets and stones, which we see used in retaliation from the Palestinian side.

But why I ask, as a concerned UK citizen, is the international community doing so little about the crisis in the Middle East. I do not agree with my government sending over millions a year in aid to Israel, supporting a state that is committing atrocities on a massive scale and breaking several international laws. Why is the world silent?! As Desmond Tutu once stated, ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor’.

After Malaysian Airlines plane MH17 was shot down over Eastern Ukraine by what is thought to be at the hands of Russian militants, the UK rushed to condemn such an attack and urged sanctions to be imposed on Russia. Yet, they continue to aid and fund a state that is killing and murdering an occupied population. Despite the continued claim that the IDF do not target civilians, the majority of those who have died in this recent conflict were civilians. Bombing Gaza to get rid of terrorist Hamas militants does not seem to be working, yet Israel is determined to continue with its ground invasion of Gaza.

Global protests across the world have emerged in the uproar of the situation and the continued attacks on Gaza by Israeli forces. People are beginning to put pressure on governments to take a stand and condemn such disproportionate force against a people who have nowhere to go due to the closure of borders, leaving them stranded in what many have described as an ‘open prison’.

I am disappointed with my government. I have grown up in a society which values the idea of democracy, justice and equal rights. Yet, these same politicians are complicit in war crimes abroad, silent when injustice occurs and supportive of a state which is arguably far from democratic.

Peace, such a simple concept, yet so difficult to achieve. The people we vote for need to start making the right decisions instead of the politically convenient ones. People are being massacred and humanity is crying out for justice.

By FAIZA SIDDIQI