Channel Island governments condemn 'barbaric attacks' against Israeli civilians

Guernsey States is flying flags at half mast in solidarity with the people of Israel. Credit: ITV Channel TV

The Chief Ministers of both Jersey and Guernsey say they fully condemn the actions of terror group Hamas against Israeli civilians.

It comes after the armed wing of the group launched a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday, killing hundreds of innocent civilians.

Jersey's Government is displaying the Israeli flag on a digital screen at its headquarters on Broad Street in a show of solidarity, while Guernsey States is flying flags at half mast at the Royal Court House and the harbour.

Guernsey's Chief Minister, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, said: "I am appalled at the barbaric attacks against the people of Israel, including civilians of all ages. Like the UK, we stand with Israel unequivocally against these acts of terrorism.

"We are equally committed to ensuring members of the Jewish community in our small part of the British Isles feel safe and secure. I stress, on behalf of all members of our community, that we very much have the people of Israel in our thoughts at all times."

Jersey's Chief Minister, Deputy Kristina Moore, added: "I have been shocked and saddened by the Hamas terror attacks on Israel and Israelis. The killing of innocent civilians can never be justified, and the Government of Jersey full condemns this appalling violence."

There are estimated to be between 45 and 50 Jewish families living in Jersey, who have close friends and relatives in Israel.

The island's Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Inna Gardiner, tweeted on Sunday (8 October): "Devastated, afraid and praying for family and friends in Israel. In 24 hours: 300 killed, 1800 injured, dozens taken hostage - children, women and elderly civilians.

"Thousands of rockets fired from Gaza. And all I can do is get on with my day and try not to cry."

  • Deputy Inna Gardiner shares her experience with ITV Channel TV

Human rights campaigners are calling for the islands' governments to publicly express solidarity with the people of Palestine whose loved ones have been killed as a result of Israeli counter-attacks.

Natalie Strecker from Jersey, who has friends living in Gaza, told ITV News: "They are not just faceless victims to me - it's a community that I spent a significant amount of time in and built relationships with both Palestinians and Israelis supporting the Palestinians.

"We know that many human rights organisations have confirmed that Israel is operating an apartheid system. Gaza has been blockaded for 16 years with Israel having control of everything that gets in to Gaza - it's an open-air prison. There are two sides to this situation."

  • Natalie Strecker speaks to ITV Channel TV

A special prayer service was held at Jersey's Synagogue on Monday night (9 October) for Jewish islanders to reflect on the events of the past 72 hours.

Deputy Kristina Moore added: "We have colleagues in Government and the public service who are praying for the safety and security of their friends and family in Israel. My heart goes out to families who have lost loved ones.

"We will do all we can to support any Islanders who are affected."

Islanders are advised to check the latest advice from the UK Foreign Office before travelling to Israel as the conflict continues.

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