Candidates standing for election to Parliament in May have shown their support for an immediate lifting of Israel’s blockade of Gaza in an email survey co-ordinated by Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
More than 670 declared candidates from all major parties in England, Scotland and Wales responded to emails sent to them by constituents, asking for their views on justice for the Palestinian people.
Candidates were asked if they agreed that Israel’s ongoing blockade against Gaza should be immediately lifted, and the vast majority – 69% – said yes. Indeed more than 9 out of 10 candidates (91%) supported the full and immediate lifting of the blockade, or lifting for humanitarian, construction and/or trade purposes.
Around 18,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed during the 2014 assault, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless. Israel has prevented the materials necessary for reconstruction to enter Gaza.
UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, tweeted this shocking fact: “More than 7 months after the ceasefire announcement in #Gaza, not a single totally destroyed home has been rebuilt.”
Palestinians who need medical treatment abroad, or who have places to study at overseas universities, are among those who are unable to leave Gaza. Palestinians seeking to return to be reunited with their families also face severe difficulties in crossing closed borders.
Sarah Colborne, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: “Israel’s blockade of Gaza is recognised as a collective punishment of its 1.8million people by the UN, and is illegal under international law.
“In 2010, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has described Gaza as a prison camp and said the situation must change. Unfortunately the last British government failed to challenge Israel’s blockade, and the situation has only changed for the worse. Palestine Solidarity Campaign says that change must be immediate and calls on the next government to put pressure on Israel – including sanctions – to end the blockade.
UK voters can find out where their candidates stand on the issue of justice for Palestinians by going to the ‘Candidates’ Views’ section on PSC’s website and entering their postcode. New candidates are being added regularly, as more responses are received.
Sara Apps, Campaigns Officer
0207 7700 6337/6192 / 07896 825 619