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UK MPs demand end to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian land
Published Wednesday 06/08/2014 (updated) 07/08/2014 10:24
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Palestinians receive food aid from the United Nations Relief and Works
Agency at the refugee camp of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
(MaanImages/File)
LONDON (AFP) -- Excessive Israeli restrictions on Palestinian territories cannot be justified on the grounds they protect Israel, a British parliamentary committee said on 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 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 all Palestinian factions.

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.
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1 ) Conner / US
06/08/2014 11:17
Remove the illegal immoral barbarism siege of Gaza

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
06/08/2014 22:20
How dare someone say Israel can't kill innocent women and children. We need their blood to power our machines and fills our luxury swimming pools. Maybe British parliament needs to spend a day in apartheid Israel to under stand that without killing innocent people, pillaging land that is not our's we can't spread like a virus. At least that's what I think the Zionist lover named Brian would say. Ha ha beat you too it, schmuck!

3 ) some one / some where
07/08/2014 00:40
my dear British parliamentary committee your country have done enough damage in Middle east and specially to them that if you keep your mouth shut you would be lots better off

4 ) suharto / indonesia
08/08/2014 13:59
My dear englishmen,your forefathers had done damage to the Middle east and the rest of the world.You should correct it now and forever,so that the world will be a save place for our generations.
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