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Today, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Sarah Colborne, called on the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to  make urgent representations to the Israeli Government to ‘end their collective punishment against Palestinians.’ 

Read the text of the letter below:

I am writing to ask you to make urgent representations to the Israeli Government to end their collective punishment against Palestinians, following the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers. The young people should be released immediately, and must not become victims of this conflict, but instead returned in accordance with international law.

We are extremely alarmed by reports of Israeli Forces making over eighty (80) arrests, causing injury and killing Palestinian bystanders and protesters. We draw your attention to the Palestinian Authority statement calling for assistance from the international community and all international human rights organizations to protect the Palestinian people against the Israeli escalation.

It is important that the UK impresses on Israel it cannot hold the Palestinian Authority responsible as the three youths went missing in the approximately 62 percent of the West Bank that is considered Area C and is under full Israeli control.

We understand that the Israeli State rightly wishes to see the safe return of these three boys. But it is vital that Israel is told in very clear terms that the rights of Israelis do not outweigh the rights of Palestinians, and it is not acceptable for them to apply justice via injustice. Palestinian children in the West Bank are routinely arrested and tried under military law, with their basic rights violated (the FCO-funded delegation of lawyers highlighted basic demands which Israel has still not implemented); and Israeli Forces appear to have impunity following the shooting and killing of Palestinian children. The Israeli State’s application of such clear double-standards in the treatment of Palestinian children, violations of international law and continuing occupation of Palestinian land are creating misery. The international community needs to step up and speak out against the desperation and instability created by Israel’s actions in Palestinian communities.

Moreover, Israel’s air strikes against Gaza, do not only impact on the Palestinians who fired rockets, but all the Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip, and again constitute collective punishment – which is illegal under international law. These strikes must stop.

Please make urgent representations to the Israeli Government; make public your concerns about the Israeli escalation within the context of Israel’s on-going occupation of Palestinian land, and please do let us know what steps you take.