An e-newsletter from the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine.
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Palestine Post #8


Dear Members

Welcome to Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine December Newsletter.

We wish all our members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



This week has seen the first Israeli bombing of Gaza since the summer’s war. There were no casualties in the bombing, which IDF officials say was a response to rocket fire earlier in the day. Also on Friday, Israeli troops shot four Palestinian protesters in the legs after they refused to heed warnings to stay away from the border fence between Gaza and Israel.

Earlier this month, Palestinian minister Ziad Abu Ain was killed in clashes which arose when the minister joined Palestinians planting olive trees near Ramallah. Abu Ain died on his way to hospital after being grabbed by the throat and head-butted by Israeli soldiers. Just before his death, the minister had said: ‘This is the terrorism of the occupation, this is a terrorist army, practising its terrorism on the Palestinian people. We came to plant trees on Palestinian land, and they launch into an attack on us from the first moment. Nobody threw a single stone.’

A 20 year old Palestinian was shot and killed in the West Bank this month after clashes broke out when Israeli soldiers were carrying out arrests in Qalandiya refugee camp. Meanwhile, 8 Palestinians were detained in arrests made throughout the West Bank last Thursday evening.

There has been a wave of resignations by Arab-Israeli bus driver over the past month – the reason being the steady rise of racist attacks by Jewish passengers. Read more on this story here.

The European Parliament has passed a resolution which supports the recognition of a Palestinian state in principle. You can read LDFP’s statement on this announcement here.

In this opinion piece, Sir Vincent Fean talks about the ‘signs of recognition’ and states: ‘Recognition of the Palestinian state is a step toward an equitable negotiated solution. The alternative is the stuff of nightmares: discrimination, violence, revenge and retaliation.’

Meanwhile, Benyamin Netanyahu has announced Israeli elections will take place in on 17 March 2015. Could these be the most important Israeli elections ever? Thomas Friedman in the New York Times makes that argument, saying: ‘Israel has had critical elections before, but this could be its most important, because the Israeli right today is no longer dominated by security hawks and free-marketeers like Netanyahu. It is dominated by West Bank settlers and scary religious-nationalist zealots like Naftali Bennett, who, if they run the next government and effectively annex the West Bank, will lead Israel into a dark corner.’

Also this month, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been pressing for a UN vote of the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Occupied Territories. Netanyahu has vowed to resist the proposal, saying: “This will lead to Islamic extremists in the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem. We will not allow this. We will strongly and responsibly rebuff this. Let there be no doubt, this will be rejected."

The summer onslaught on Gaza has been over for several months, but the effects are still being felt, as this moving piece from Newsweek records: ‘All across Gaza I found more rubble – areas that looked like mini Dresdens, or London during the Blitz; bombed hospitals, schools, the fledgling airport destroyed, though the latter was bombed in a previous Israeli-Gaza war. Factories were flattened too including the famous al-Awda biscuit factory, which once employed 400 workers. And all around thousands more Gazans were living in the ruins.’
Thank you for your support.

LDFP exists to fight for the rights of the Palestinian people through the medium of the Liberal Democrat Party. For a full articulation of our position, see here
Copyright © 2014 Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine, All rights reserved.

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