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PA welcomes UK Labour Party's motion on Israeli 'apartheid'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a meeting with the Palestinian leadership at the presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 6, 2019. - Abbas said he would discuss plans for new parliamentary elections with all factions, including longterm rivals Hamas, and renewed a pledge to hold the first elections since 2006, but without giving a timeframe. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI / AFP) (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 6 October 2019 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images]

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the passing of a motion at the UK Labour Party conference on Monday that recognised Israel as an "apartheid" state and called for sanctions against it, as well as the immediate recognition of Palestine, Wafa news agency has reported.

Abbas said that the motion sends a strong message to the Israeli government that the world no longer accepts the continuation of its occupation. Measures must eventually follow to corner, isolate and impose sanctions on the occupation state.

During the conference in Brighton, the Labour Party condemned "the ongoing Nakba in Palestine, Israel's militarised violence attacking Al Aqsa Mosque, the forced displacements from Sheikh Jarrah and the deadly assault on Gaza." It also noted "the 2021 reports by B'Tselem and Human Rights Watch that conclude unequivocally that Israel is practicing the crime of apartheid as defined by the UN."

Labour Party delegates voted for an ethical trade policy and an end to the arms trade with Israel and "effective measures" including sanctions to counter Israeli violations of international law, such as settlement construction and the blockade of Gaza.

Abbas stressed that such a motion is a message of hope and support for the Palestinian people, which affirms that, however long the occupation may last, it is coming to an end. The PA Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, and the Palestinian Mission to the UK also both welcomed the motion.

The current Labour leadership under Sir Keir Starmer, however, is likely to ignore the motion. His wife comes from a Jewish family and has relatives in Tel Aviv, reported the Times of Israel last year. "I support Zionism without qualification," insisted Starmer.

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