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UK opposition leader Corbyn condemns Gaza 'outrage'

April 8, 2018 at 7:20 am

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday condemned the “illegal and inhumane” violence against Palestinians by the Israeli state.

In a statement read out outside government offices, Corbyn said: “The killing and wounding of yet more unarmed Palestinian protesters yesterday [Friday] by Israeli forces in Gaza is an outrage.”

At least 31 Palestinians have been martyred and 2,850 others injured by Israeli gunfire in anti-occupation rallies on the border of the Gaza Strip since last week, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

“The majority of the people of the Gaza Strip are stateless refugees, subject to a decade-long blockade and the denial of basic human and political rights, “ Corbyn added.

“More than two-thirds are reliant on humanitarian assistance, with limited access to the most basic amenities, such as water and electricity,” he said.

Corbyn’s statement was read out during a protest organized by the Friends of Al Aqsa group outside the prime minister’s offices at Downing Street.

The Labour leader said the Palestinians “have a right to protest against their appalling conditions and the continuing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination.”

“Firing live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians is illegal and inhumane and cannot be tolerated.

“We stand in solidarity with the Israelis who have taken to the streets this last week to protest their government’s actions,” he said.

Criticizing the silence from the international powers, Corbyn has urged the UK government to “support the UN Secretary-General’s call for an independent international inquiry into the killing of protesters in Gaza and review the sale of arms that could be used in violation of international law”.

Thousands of Palestinians have been staging demonstrations on Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel against the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

The rallies are part of a six-week demonstration that will culminate on May 15, which will mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment — an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”.

Demonstrators demand that Palestinian refugees be granted the “right of return” to their towns and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.