LETTER: Palestine needs friendship and support

By twinning with a Palestinian town, Pendle is not seeking to usurp the role of the United Nations in the peace process.

The UN has been trying to bring about a just settlement in the Middle East for years.

The UN General Assembly recognises the injustice of the situation with over 65 resolutions against Israel’s invasion and occupation of Palestinian territories. Contrary to the UN Charter, Israel has continued to hold and increase its occupation by force of Palestinian territories in the West Bank. It also continues to blockade Gaza, the largest refugee camp in the world, where Palestinians are prisoners in their own land.

History records the recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Gaza was first triggered by the Israeli army and not Hamas when it made an incursion into Gaza and killed a 13-year-old Palestinian child in November. Hamas retaliated with rockets fired into Israel. This provoked Israel into assassinating a Hamas military leader and launching a missile attack on Gaza. These exchanges have resulted in the death of 161 Palestinians, including women and children civilians, in Gaza while five Israeli civilians have been killed.

Further, the illegal extension of the Israeli concrete wall is separating Jews from Arabs and dividing Arab communities.

Israel has created a “de facto” apartheid regime in the West Bank. The threat of this further invasion and occupation is a provocative reaction to the UN General Assembly voting by an overwhelming majority to accord Palestine “non-member observer status” on November 29th.

The UN recognises their right to be a sovereign state. In this besieged situation, Palestine needs friendship and support.

DAVID PENNEY

Treasurer

Pendle Palestine Twinning Group