Government urged to take action against Israel over West Bank annexation plans

Over 100 MPs, trade union general secretaries, and prominent figures have called for the government to take action against Israel’s plans to annex huge swathes of the occupied West Bank.

Signatories include Palestinian lobby groups, Jeremy Corbyn and the Muslim MPs Apsana Begum and Zarah Sultana.

The move follows a call from Palestinian civil society issued on May 21st for “effective measures” by all states to stop Israel’s illegal annexation – including a ban on arms sales and military-security cooperation with Israel, and an end to trade with illegal Israeli settlements.

The new Israeli administration – a coalition led again by Benjamin Netanyahu – has said that it intends to formally annex large swathes of land in the West Bank starting in July. This land was militarily occupied by Israel in 1967 and is recognised internationally as Palestinian territory.

Pro-Palestinian campaigners say the annexation would mark the culmination of “years of appropriation of land,” through the forced displacement of Palestinians, settlement and the annexation of East Jerusalem.

The statement, coordinated by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, can be read underneath in full:

The new Israeli Government has said that it intends to annex large swathes of Palestinian land in the West Bank, starting in July, land which was militarily occupied in 1967. This would be the culmination of years of appropriation of land – through the forced displacement of Palestinians, settlement and the annexation of East Jerusalem. Annexation, illegal under international law, is the forcible and unilateral acquisition of territory over which it has no recognised sovereignty and to make it an integral part of the state – in this case, Israel.

Palestinian civil society has made a global call for “effective measures” to be taken to stop this annexation happening. If the measures are to be effective, this means the UK should now, at the very least, be adhering to an ethical policy on all the UK’s trade with Israel, in particular by applying international law on settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and stopping any arms trade with Israel that is used in violation of the human rights of Palestinians.

In the midst of the Covid pandemic a number of organisations and individuals are cooperating to try to respond to the call from Palestine by making annexation a live issue on the current political agenda. Israel’s timetable is to annex land quickly with Trump’s support – this means we cannot wait.

Organisations

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Amos Trust

Artists for Palestine UK

British Palestinian Policy Council

Europal Forum

Jews for Justice for Palestinians

Labour and Palestine

Liberal Democrats Friends of Palestine

Labour Friends of Palestine and Middle East

SNP Friends of Palestine

Stop the War Coalition

Palestinian Forum in Britain

Palestinian Return Centre

War on Want

Parliamentarians  

Apsana Begum MP

Baroness Tessa Blackstone

Baroness Christine Blower

Alan Brown MP

Baroness Pauline Bryan

Richard Burgon MP

Ian Byrne MP

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Bob Doris MSP

James Dornan MSP

Lord Hugh Dykes

John Finnie MSP

Lord Peter Hain

Neale Hanvey MP

Lord John Hendy

Rachel Hopkins MP

Ian Lavery MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Kenny MacAskill MP

John McDonnell MP

Ivan McKee MSP

Grahame Morris MP

Brendan O’Hara MP

Kate Osborne MP

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

Tommy Sheppard MP

Andy Slaughter MP

Zarah Sultana MP

Jon Trickett MP

Claudia Webbe MP

Sandra White MSP

Mick Whitley MP

Leanne Wood MS

Trade Unions

ASLEF

Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary NEU

Manuel Cortes, General Secretary TSSA

FBU

Jo Grady, General Secretary UCU

Len McCluskey, General Secretary Unite the Union

John Phillips, Acting General Secretary GMB

Barbara Plant, President GMB

RMT

Mark Serwotka, General Secretary PCS

Sarah Woolley, General Secretary, BFAWU

Mick Whelan, General Secretary ASLEF

Individuals

Omar Al-Qattan

Salman Abu Sitta

John Austin

Sarah Beddington

Tamara Ben Halim

Geoffrey Bindman

Victoria Brittain

Julie Christie

Chipo Chung

Caryl Churchill

Selma Dabbagh

William Dalrymple

Izzat Darwazeh

Brian Eno

Shepard Fairey

David Farr

Lindsey German

Arthur Goodman

Professor Kamel  Hawwash (Chair PSC)

Canon Garth Hewitt

Nadia Hijab

Kate Hudson (Gen Secretary CND)

Betty Hunter

Ben Jamal (Director PSC)

Ghada Karmi

A.L.Kennedy

Sara Husseini

Hugh Lanning

Mike Leigh

Ken Loach

Dr. Dina Matar ( Chair, Centre for Palestine Studies, SOAS)

Kika Marlham

Yann Martel

Jenny Morgan

Professor Karma Nabulsi

Chris Nineham

Maxine Peake

John Pilger

Philip Pullman

Hilary Rose

Steven Rose

Atallah Said, OBE (Chair, British Arab Association; Honorary Chair, British Palestinian Policy Council)

Zac Sammour,

Aimee Shalan

Alexei  Sayle

Clare Short

David Thompson

Colm Tóibín

Harriet Walter

Irvine Welsh

Wolf Alice

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