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Date posted: June 07, 2007
By British MPs

Letter from British MPs in the Guardian - 6 June 2007

Forty years ago, Israel launched the six-day war that changed the face of the Middle East and initiated one of the longest occupations in modern history (Six-day war, June 5). Since then, the Israeli military has expanded and tightened its hold over Gaza, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, settling Israeli citizens illegally on occupied Palestinian and Syrian land.

Today the Gaza Strip is the world's largest prison, with 1.4 million Palestinians trapped inside, deprived of the freedom to travel or trade, and with little hope for the future. The West Bank is covered in hundreds of illegal settlements containing almost 500,000 illegal Israeli settlers, and carved up by settler roads, 549 roadblocks and a wall that serves not just to protect Israelis, but to imprison the Palestinians within it and to annex around 10% of the West Bank.

The Israeli army has used overwhelming force to expand this occupation, leading to the loss of thousands of Palestinian lives. As with nearly every occupation in history, it has led to increasingly violent resistance, which in turn has led to the loss of wholly innocent Israeli lives. Palestinians are further away than ever from being free and their chances of having a viable state is being swallowed up before their eyes, leaving around 12% of what was once their country.

The international community formally opposes this colonisation and land theft. But instead of insisting Israel ends its occupation, its inaction has condoned its expansion. Ending this occupation after 40 years is a matter of urgency not just for Palestinians, but for Israelis as well.

The Golan Heights could and should be returned to Syria in exchange for peace.

The British government and the EU should throw their full weight behind the Arab peace plan that offers peace and normalisation in return for full Israeli withdrawal from Arab land before 1967. There is now a united and moderate Arab peace proposal that offers the best prospect for peace in a rapidly disintegrating environment. It both deserves and requires support.

Crispin Blunt MP (CAABU Joint Chairman) Richard Burden MP (Former CAABU board member) Neil Gerrard MP Dr Brian Iddon MP Lord Hylton, Mark Lazarowicz MP Kerry McCarthy MP Lord Andrew Phillips Christine Russell MP (CAABU board member) Andrew Slaughter MP Dr Phyllis Starkey MP Derek Wyatt MP (CAABU board member)

Chris Doyle

CAABU (Council for Arab-British Understanding)

Read More ...

By: Ma'an News Agency
Date: 24/09/2011
By: Nahida Halaby Gordon
Date: 25/05/2011
By: The White House - Office of the Press Secretary
Date: 20/05/2011

Source: The Guardian, 6 June. 2007
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