Another act of aggression by the Israeli state, emboldened by western governments’ hostility to Hamas.
Al-Jazeera is broadcasting footage of a brutal Israeli raid on a prison in the Palestinian town of Jericho.

In what looks like a pre-election stunt, the Israeli government is trying to seize Ahmed Sadaat, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and five of his comrades.

One Palestinian guard is already reported dead and there have been further casualties, according to al-Jazeera.

Sadaat has been held since 2001 under a deal brokered by the late Yasser Arafat. The PFLP claimed responsibility for the killing of the Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi that year.

Under the deal, Sadaat was to be guarded by US and British forces. Those forces this morning abandoned their posts, citing "security concerns", as the Israeli army approached.

Reports say 50 jeeps and three tanks have stormed into Jericho, while two helicopter gunships circle overhead.

This is not only a major act of aggression by the Israeli state, no doubt emboldened by western governments’ unremitting hostility to the newly elected Hamas administration in Palestine. It also represents an unforgivable betrayal by the British government, which has abandoned the prisoners to their fate.

I’m writing today to the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, to demand he tells us why and how the government has allowed this to happen and what forewarning it had from the Israelis.

The author, George Galloway is A British Member of Parliament (MP). He has been an MP since 1987 and took the east London seat for the Respect coalition in 2005, unseating the Labour candidate, Oona King.  He helped found Respect in 2004 after he was expelled from the Labour party for his uncompromising opposition to the Iraq war.