Britain’s largest trade union, ‘Unite’, has condemned Israeli crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories and stepped up to join the international campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The EU has contributed €15.5 million to the Palestinian Authority for the payment of June salaries and pensions.At the three-day annual meeting held in Liverpool, Unite adopted several motions in regard to the Palestinian cause, according to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency.
The first motion, ‘Israel and Palestine’ condemned the Israeli regime for committing ‘apartheid crimes’ against the Palestinian people. The Middle East Monitor has reported that it also condemned Israeli violations of international law such as settlement construction, crimes of persecution against the Palestinian people, and the Israeli military’s detention and torture of Palestinian children. Unite also highlighted Israeli racist laws affecting Palestinian citizens of Israel, such as Palestinians living in Jerusalem and Bedouins from the Negev.
The union requested its members, estimated to be over 1.5 million, WAFA further reports, to take bolder steps, such as those that were taken against the South African apartheid regime, in years past, as part of the fight against the Israeli ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
The union also announced that it would work with others to develop a campaigning and leverage strategy around BDS within the next 12 months, notably against companies complicitly involved with the occupation, the apartheid wall and the illegal settlements, like Veolia, G4S and Sainsbury’s.
The group also adopted a motion regarding the inhuman conditions of siege in Syria-based Yarmouk refugee camp, where Palestinians have been killed in military attacks and died from malnutrition.
MEMO further stated that the conference “urged all parties to withdraw and allow humanitarian aid to reach [camp residents] without further delay.” As part of the Yarmouk resolution, Unite has also reaffirmed “its commitment to [UN] Resolution 194 which asserts the rights of Palestinians [expelled by Israel] to return to their land”.
Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Nabil al-Arabi called, today, in a press release, on the UN security council to convene immediately in taing necessary measures to stop Israeli aggressions on Gaza which, so far, have led to the death of over a dozen Palestinians and the injury of over 100.
He said that he had prticipated in discussions with President Abbas in regard to the latest string of crises in the Gaza strip, and noted that he will continue consulting foreign ministers.
Presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rdainah condemned, today, the decision of the Israeli regime to expand these aggressions against the Palestinian people in the oPt:
‘The decision of the Israeli government to expand its aggression against the Gaza Strip, and to continue the policy of repression and abuse and settlement activities in the West Bank is a declaration of war against our people that the Israeli government will alone bear its consequences and repercussions, and the counter action it could cause.
The Palestinian people will not stand fold handed before the open massacre committed against children, women and the elderly. It is the right of our people to address the aggression and defend ourselves through all legitimate means and methods.”
He noted that the continuing international silence, especially from the U.S. administration, is no longer acceptable, and that this would push Palestinian leadership to take crucial steps in defending the nation, in light of the current aggression.
The third motion of the ‘Unite’ meeting was titled “Israeli-Palestinian Co-operation” and was not carried. The motion expressed support for the stricken U.S.-led peace talks, according to WAFA, and encouraged engagement with both Israeli and Palestinian trade unions.
In related news, the European Union has contributed €15.5 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the payment of June salaries and pensions for nearly 70,000 Palestinian civil servants and pensioners living and working in the West Bank and Gaza Strip:
The assistance is delivered via the PEGASE mechanism.
‘This contribution demonstrates once again the EU’s strong commitment to supporting the Palestinian Authority in its efforts to deliver services to the Palestinian population,’ said EU Representative John Gatt-Rutter.
‘The EU will continue to support the Palestinian public sector and the Palestinian people in a timely and reliable manner. We commend the work done by the Palestinian leadership to overcome the recent challenges and to continue providing public services even in the highly challenging situation prevailing both in the West Bank and Gaza, ‘ the official press release concluded.