UK MPs demand end to Israeli restrictions on Palestine

2014-08-06 05:45
UK Parliament TV shows British Prime Minister David Cameron speaking at the dispatch box delivering a statement to the Houses of Parliament. (File, AFP)

UK Parliament TV shows British Prime Minister David Cameron speaking at the dispatch box delivering a statement to the Houses of Parliament. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

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

"We challenge the assertion that restrictions which curtail economic development in the OPTs [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 Islamist group 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 labelling of produce made in Israeli settlements to allow consumers to avoid buying them has been implemented by retailers, the report said.

Read more on:    palestine  |  israel  |  gaza

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.