BEIRUT

Middle East

UK MPs demand end to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian land

A shell lies on the ground at the heavily damaged Sobhi Abu Karsh school in Gaza City's shejaiya neighborhood August 5, 2014. (AFP Photo/Mohammad Abed)

LONDON: Excessive Israeli restrictions on Palestinian territories cannot be justified on the grounds they protect the Jewish state, a British parliamentary committee said Wednesday.

"We challenge the assertion that restrictions which curtail economic development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are based on Israel's security needs and can be justified on security grounds," the report by the International Development Committee said.

The paper expressed particular concern about the situation in Hebron, the Palestinian city in the southern occupied West Bank.

"We were shocked by what we saw during our visit to Hebron. While we fully appreciate Israel's security concerns, these in no way justify the present restrictions on Palestinians in Hebron, which affect their livelihoods, economic development and security," the report said.

The group, which monitors the British government's ministry of international development, called for London and Europe to speak out against restrictions that prevent economic development "as a matter of urgency."

The call comes a day after Baroness Sayeeda Warsi resigned as a government minister in protest at what she said was a "morally indefensible" failure by the government to condemn Israel's killing of civilians in Gaza.

The lifting of an eight-year blockade of Gaza has been a key demand of Hamas for peace.

But West Bank restrictions in particular, such as the prevention of Palestinian businesses investing in the Israeli-controlled zone, should be opposed by Britain and other European countries, the report said.

It added that issues such as greater access to water and construction permits should be addressed regardless of the current conflict, which has killed 1,875 Palestinians including 430 children, 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel.

The committee said it was "extremely concerned" that Israel could further expand settlements, and said Britain and other European countries should "stress to the Israeli authorities the unacceptability of the present situation."

The British government should also examine whether guidelines on the labeling of produce made in Israeli settlements to allow consumers to avoid buying them has been implemented by retailers, the report said.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

UK MPs demand end to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian land

Excessive Israeli restrictions on Palestinian territories cannot be justified on the grounds they protect the Jewish state, a British parliamentary committee said Wednesday.

It added that issues such as greater access to water and construction permits should be addressed regardless of the current conflict, which has killed 1,875 Palestinians including 430 children, 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here