SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey has met with Irish and British Ambassadors over the deteriorating situation in Palestine. Mr Ramsey is part of a delegation in the region to encourage the stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestine. During his meetings with Irish Ambassador to Palestine Alison Kelly, and the UK Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey, Mr Ramsey communicated the international outrage that has been caused by forced evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the use of lethal weaponry to quell street demonstrations.
Mr Ramsey said: “The situation on the ground has deteriorated and over the past week and I have seen first-hand the destruction and despair that has been inflicted upon the Palestinian people. The Israeli Army are using lethal and less than lethal methods to disperse civilians. Their heavy handed tactics have killed 62 people, injured thousands more and their use of plastic bullets has left scores of people with brain damage.
“There can be no justification for the use of violence from either side but the use of lethal weaponry on unarmed civilians echoes some of the worst atrocities of the Troubles. It is totally unacceptable. The international community is outraged by the on-going violence and the continued Israeli push to evict Palestinians from East Jerusalem.
“Many of my constituents have voiced their particular anger over the case of Nora Ghaith-Sub Laban, a grandmother who has lived in the same house since 1953 who has been told that she has a week to leave her home to be replaced by a Jewish Israeli family. She has so far weathered two attempts at eviction, the latter of which entailed 20 armed personnel that were only stopped from breaking down her door by a last minute temporary injunction. The outpouring of compassion from people back home to her case has been overwhelming and their anger should indicate the abject immorality of the aggressive and illegal Israeli expansion into Palestinian territory.
“In my meetings with Ms Kelly and Mr Quarrey I voiced the very real and very grave concerns of not only my constituents but of people around the world who are rightly appalled by the actions and words of the Israeli Government. I am pleased to say that both ambassadors shared our view and will pressure the Israeli Government to end their flagrant and repeated abuse of human rights.”