An e-newsletter from the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine.
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Palestine Post #12

Dear Members

Welcome to the LDFP Newsletter for April 2015 and the last before the General Election next week. Read on for news and updates on Palestine over the past month.

Best wishes,



Eye on Palestine

This month, the UN released a report which has held Israel responsible for striking 7 UN sites used as civilian shelters during the summer 2014 war in Gaza. 44 Palestinians were killed as a result of the strikes. You can read more about the UN inquiry and report here.

Following the Israeli general election last month, Benyamin Netanayhu has begun building his coalition government. This week he signed deals with the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party and the centre-right Kulanu. Read more on this here.
In Palestine this week a young Palestinian has been killed at a checkpoint by Israeli troops. The man was wielding two knives and apparently troops chased him after he tried to attack them. Israeli troops have also this week detained 4 children from the same family, reportedly interrogating one 7 year old for 8 hours. Accountability Program director of children's rights group Defense for Children International- Palestine, Ayed Abu Eqtaish commented "By arresting children as young as 6, Israel is flouting its own legal code, as well as international standards for the treatment of children".
A Palestinian teenager was killed this week after being shot by Israeli troops who said a group of teens had been ”attempting to breach the security fence". This was the third Palestinian teen to be killed this week, after the incident at the checkpoint outlined above another incident in Hebron. Read more here.
The UN has declared that the situation in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus is ‘beyond inhumane’. According to the UN, no food has entered the camp since last Friday when the fighting began. A resident of the camp, which has been under siege by Bashar Al-Assad’s regime for 2 years, told the Guardian “The situation inside the camp is catastrophic. There is no food or electricity or water, Daesh [Arabic acronym for Isis] is killing and looting the camp, there are clashes, there is shelling. Everyone is shelling the camp.’’
In this article by Mehdi Hassan he notes that we should do more to speak out against the suffering of the refugees in Yarmouk at the hands of fellow Arabs and that their ‘plight should matter to us all – regardless of whether their persecutors happen to be Israelis, Syrians, Egyptians or, for that matter, fellow Palestinians.’
In EU news, 16 out of 28 EU Foreign ministers, including from the UK and France, have sent a letter to the EU’s foreign policy head highlighting the issue of settlement product labelling. The letter aims to put pressure on Federica Mogherini to move towards the clearer labelling of good produced in illegal Israeli settlements. The letter states European consumers must indeed have confidence in knowing the origin of goods they are purchasing’ and that ‘We remain of the view that this is an important step in the full implementation of EU longstanding policy, in relation to the preservation of the two-state solution’.

General Election

With the general election only a week away, make sure you check your candidates’ views on Palestine by visiting the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s website here.
LDFP's own Vice Chair, John Kelly, has written a piece in the LibDem Voice on the PSC questionnaire sent to parliamentary candidates. He says ‘Please urge your candidates to respond positively to all 7 questions, if they haven’t already done so.  It would be the right thing to do and might gain some votes from people who might otherwise think the SNP, the Greens or even Labour are stronger supporters of Palestinian human rights.’  You can read the full article here.

Our Chair, John McHugo, has also written an article this week - the piece in Middle East Monitor entitled 'Justice for Palestine and peace in the Middle East are core values for Liberal Democrats' details the efforts of the Lib Dems in progressing the Palestinian cause throughout their time in the Coalition. John states 'Of course, we in LDFP would have liked our party and its leader to go further, but we are also proud of our achievements as Liberal Democrats in government...There is no doubt that in our party the debate on Palestine has been won. Not only are we in favour of recognition of Palestine (and of leading in Europe on this issue), but whether we are in opposition or part of another coalition government after the election, we look forward to taking the struggle for Palestinian rights further.' Read the whole article here.
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 © 2015 Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine, All rights reserved.

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