The management of a Kerala-based private apparel firm that has been supplying uniforms for Israel's police force for the past several years has decided not to take up any new orders until the war in Gaza is stopped.
News about the horrifying killings, continuing bloodshed, the bombing of hospitals and the never-ending scenes of hardships of innocent people forced Maryan Apparel Pvt Limited here to put a temporary freeze on new orders from the Israel police force.
Thomas Olickal, who runs Maryan Apparel, said the firm had not thought of making any change in their business plan even after the war broke out in the West Asia region early this month but took the decision after seeing the suffering inflicted on the civilian population in Gaza.
"We have been making uniforms for the Israel police since 2015. The Hamas attack, killing civilians cannot be accepted. Similarly, the revenge by Israel also cannot be accepted," Olickal said in a video message announcing the decision.
Maryan Apparel in the district makes the light blue, long-sleeve uniform shirts of the Israel Police
Expressing deep concern over the present situation in Gaza, he said denying food and water to over 25 lakh people, bombing hospitals, killing innocent women and children is unacceptable.
"We want the war to end and peace to prevail," he said
The businessman said his firm will honour the existing contracts as per the international agreement but has decided not to accept any new orders until the war ends.
"We request everyone to stop the war. The Israel police force will not be short of uniforms because of our decision. But this a moral decision. Bombing of the hospitals cannot be accepted... We have decided not to take further orders temporarily," he added.
Israel declared war after Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel from Gaza on October 7. On October 17, hundreds of people were killed in a deadly blast at a hospital in Gaza recently after which Hamas and Israel traded charges holding each other responsible for the incident.
Hamas blamed an Israeli air strike for causing the explosion at the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday, while Israel claimed that a misfired rocket by the Islamic outfit caused the explosion.
Maryan Apparel was launched at the state-run Kinfra Park here in 2006 and specialises in producing uniforms of army men, police personnel, security officers and health service workers from various countries across the globe.
It also supplies school uniforms, dresses for supermarket staff, doctors' coats, coveralls, corporate wear and so on.
The apparel unit was set up in Kannur with the objective of providing employment to local people who had lost jobs due to the decline of the traditional 'beedi' sector there.
Olickal had earlier said that the Israel police had approached his company years ago after coming to know they specialised in making uniforms.