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Business News/ News / World/  Gaza war: Water Transport Workers' Union of India refuses to load, unload Israel-bound weapons on any ships
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Gaza war: Water Transport Workers' Union of India refuses to load, unload Israel-bound weapons on any ships

They have taken the decision after seeing any role in enabling ship to carry armaments which may aggravate the war in Gaza and particularly in Rafah.

A picture taken during a guided tour organised by the Israeli Navy on November 23, 2023, shows an Israeli sailor manning a machine gun aboard a Sa'ar 4.5-class missile boat preparing to depart to patrol off the coast of Gaza from a naval base in the northern port city of Haifa, amid continuing battles between Israel and Hamas. (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP/File) (AFP)Premium
A picture taken during a guided tour organised by the Israeli Navy on November 23, 2023, shows an Israeli sailor manning a machine gun aboard a Sa'ar 4.5-class missile boat preparing to depart to patrol off the coast of Gaza from a naval base in the northern port city of Haifa, amid continuing battles between Israel and Hamas. (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP/File) (AFP)

Amid the ongoing Israel-Palestine war, the Water Transport Workers Federation of India – representing 3,500 workers at 11 major Indian ports – declared to refuse to load or unload weapons to Israel on any ships it may be asked to do so, carrying armaments and bound for Israel, reported The Wire.

"The Water Transport Workers Federation of India has decided to refuse to load or unload weaponized cargoes from Israel or any other country which could handle military equipment and its allied cargo for war in Palestine," The Wire quoted WTWFI press release – dated 14 February – as saying.

“Port workers, part of labour unions would always stand against the war and killing innocent people like women and children. The recent attack of Israel on Gaza plunging thousands of Palestinians into immense suffering and loss. Women and children have been blown to pieces in the war. Parents were unable to recognise their children killed in bombings which were exploding everywhere," the union said.

ALSO READ: Israel rejects international recognition of Palestinian state, cites, ‘would offer enormous reward to terrorism’

They have taken the decision after seeing any role in enabling ship to carry armaments which may aggravate the war in Gaza and particularly in Rafah.

Calling for an 'immediate ceasefire', the trade union said, “Our Union members have collectively decided to refuse handling all types of weaponised cargoes. Loading and unloading these weapons helps provide organizations with the ability to kill innocent people."

The press release further says, “As responsible trade unions, we declare our solidarity with those who campaign for peace. We call upon the workers of the world and peace-loving people to stand with the demand of free Palestine."

The news was confirmed by the Water Transport Federation of India general secretary T Narendra Rao. He said, as quoted by the news website, “We are affiliated to the World Federation of Trade Unions, a global body. At a recent meeting of world trade unions, held at Athens after the war of Gaza started, we saw the rousing reception the trade union representative from Palestine got there, as they explained exactly what was going on. We decided them that we would do our bit and not handle any weapon-laden cargo, which will go onto assist Israel to kill more women and children as we are seeing and reading every day in the news."

Though Rao said they had not encountered any reports of any such ship bound for Israel so far, however, issuing the statement 'to express solidarity with Palestine'. He said that this would make clear that they would not be a part of any future enterprise to support Israel’s war on the Palestinian people, adding, that Their workers would not help load or unload anything that advances the cause of war.

In the meantime, a Hyderabad-based joint venture – in which the Adani Group has a controlling stake – has manufactured and dispatched over 20 military drones to the Israeli military.

ALSO READ: South Africa urges World Court to pressure Israel to halt Rafah offensive

Similar to what Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd has just delivered, Hermes drones are being used in the Israeli Defence Forces’ military campaign in Gaza. These have resulted in the death of over 28,000 people, including more than 10,000 children, claimed the news website.

The sale more of than 20 Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAVs to Israel has not yet been publicly acknowledged by either Tel Aviv or New Delhi. However, The Wire – quoting sources to Adani – had confirmed to the news website in early February that the export had indeed taken place.

On 13 February, the World Federation of Trade Unions issued a call for solidarity with the people of Palestine. They claimed the United Nations and the international community will take urgent decisions to prevent this new Nakba in the Palestinian land.

The trade union also condemned the hypocrisy of the USA and their allies, who pretend to be the protectors of international law and order, but silently or openly support this genocide.

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Published: 18 Feb 2024, 07:45 PM IST
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