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British Parliamentarians concerned for fate of Jerusalem legislators

January 31, 2014 at 12:49 am

There is growing concern among British parliamentarians about the fate that is befalling three Palestinian legislators and one ex Minister in Jerusalem who have been unjustly and illegally targeted by Israeli officials for arrest and expulsion. Having been forced to choose between leaving their homes voluntarily and being parted from their family and home city forever or staying in their homes and facing arrest and expulsion they instead chose to seek sanctuary in the offices of the International Red Cross in Jerusalem.

Questions were raised in the House of Lords on Thursday and in the House of Commons today by concerned members of parliament about this bizarre state of affairs.

Last Thursday Lord Raymond Hilton specifically raised the issue of the MPs threatened with expulsion from Jerusalem after taking part in a live parliamentary link up with them and hearing their accounts first hand. He emphasised the importance of the Rule of Law and then made mention of the importance of religion and dialogue stating that “In both Jerusalem and Baghdad the religious dimension is hugely important. This means listening to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Hamas.” Mentioning the worldwide repercussions that the unresolved conflict in the Middle East is having, he posed the question “Can we, therefore, persuade our friends in the United States and the European Union to pursue more enlightened policies?”

Today Labour MP Andrew Slaughter also raised the matter in the House of Commons. He asked what the British government has done in terms of making representations to Israel about the hundreds of evictions from Jerusalem. He also made specific mention of the three MPs in Jerusalem who have been served with eviction notices.

It is clear that the illegal Israeli evictions of Palestinians and democratically elected members of parliament are no longer going unnoticed and that there are increasing calls to hold Israel accountable for such blatant violations of the rights of Jerusalemites to live free from Israeli persecution.