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‘Israel must end occupation of Palestine’ – Green MEP Lucas

July 2, 2012

Saturday, June 9. 2007

Green Party Euro-MP Caroline Lucas has called on Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights and the UK to restore full links with the Palestinian Authority to prevent a humanitarian disaster and an escalation of the conflict.

The MEP will address a rally tomorrow calling for Israel to end its 40-year “illegal occupation” of Palestine.

The ‘Enough Occupation!’ rally marks 40 years since the six-day war which saw Israel take military control of the Gaza Strip and West Bank including East Jerusalem

“This unlawful occupation has been going on for far too long, causing terrible suffering and injustice. For the sake of humanitarianism, justice, peace and democracy, it is time to end it once and for all: and we in the UK should use the ‘stick’ of international and EU law to put pressure on Israel to do.

“Until Israel conforms to all previous security council resolutions and ends the occupation, stops building its ‘separation barrier’ – also unlawful, according to the International Court of Justice – and demonstrates it fully respects the rights of Palestinians, we must suspend the EU-Israel Association agreement, which governs political, economic and cultural links between EU countries and Israel,” she said.

Dr Lucas recently returned from Palestine as a member of the European Parliament’s official delegation to the occupied Palestinian territories.

She is scheduled to speak alongside Palestinian Minister of Information Mustafa Barghouti, former CND chair Bruce Kent, several MPs, and Ismael Patel of the human rights group Friends of Al Aqsa.

She said: “The human rights of Palestinians are routinely abused: freedom of movement and freedom from arbitrary arrest are almost non-existent for Palestine’s Arab population.

“Schools and hospitals are chronically under-funded, there is widespread and growing unemployment – and there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Palestinians living in poverty in the last year alone.”

She added that the Governments in the EU were making this worse by refusing to deal directly with the “democratically-elected Hamas Government.

She said that such refusal undermined democracy in the Middle East which sent a “clear signal to the Israeli government that it can take the same attitude”.

“Israel must end the occupation, and the UK government must renormalise relations with the Palestinian Authority – or life will get harder for Palestinians as poverty, human rights abuses and conflict steadily worsen.”

The London rally is expected to start at 1.30pm leaving Lincoln’s Inn Fields and end at Trafalgar Square, London, at 3pm where speeches will be delivered.

Details are available on the Enough Occupation! Website http://www.enoughoccupation.org.uk

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