Unwelcome Israeli Ambassador mark Regev
‘ israel refuses to meet the most minimal bench marks of international behavior’
The Israeli ambassador, Mark Regev is visiting Birmingham, at the Council House on Wednesday, 8th February to meet the Councillors. We are asking the Councillors to boycotting the ambassador and show solidarity with Palestinians and the majority of Birmingham residents outraged about Israel’s inhumane treatment of Palestinians and the continued building of illegal Israeli settlements which are contrary to the values of a multi-ethnic and multicultural Birmingham and an obstacle to peace.
In response to his visit, we are in a rally outside the Council House starting at 9:30 am on 8th February to oppose Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and illegal occupation and breaches of international law.
The increasing international outrage and condemnation of the occupation of Palestine, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the degrading inhumane conditions that Palestinians, are forced, daily, to endure. Last year, over 684 Palestinian houses were demolished in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and 35 Palestinian children had been killed by Israeli soldiers, police and armed settlers. In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Palestinians have no freedom of movement and schoolchildren are forced to endure checkpoints or to walk several miles to circumvent an illegal Wall that Israel has constructed on occupied land.
The numerous violations by Israel of international and humanitarian law in respect of Palestine which are well documented by international organizations including the United Nations and Amnesty International.
The continued blockade of the Gaza strip, now in its 10th year. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in 2015 declared that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020. A consequence of the Israeli blockade and continuing military aggression in Gaza (three devastating military operations since 2007) has laid to waste its economic and social infrastructure. Today, the people of Gaza have electricity for only four hours a day, suffer 60% unemployment and 47% face severe food insecurity. They are prevented from fishing in less than one third of the fishing area allocated under the Oslo accords. Of course, we cannot forget that the Ambassador visiting Birmingham was, in the summer of 2014, justifying Israeli violations of international law and war crimes on our TV screens when Gaza was being bombed killing over 2000 Palestinians including over 500 children
The non-stop denial of rights and home demolitions of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Only last week, eight houses were demolished and two people killed, one a Palestinian school teacher, Yaakup Abu al-Qiyab, in the attempted demolition of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev. These villagers had been ethnically cleansed from their land in 1956 and their land given to a Kibbutz. Today these same villagers face being ethnically cleansed from their homes for a second time to make room for Jewish-only homes. Among the injured during the demolition was a Palestinian member of the Knesset and chair of the ‘Joint List’ coalition of Palestinian-based political parties in Israel.