Letter to the Editor: UK MPs back Sweden over Palestinian capital

As EU foreign ministers gather in Brussels to debate the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations, a group of British MPs have come out in support of a Swedish proposal to establish East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Dear Editor

We, Parliamentarians in the UK, would like to put on record our

support for the Swedish Presidency’s draft document calling for a

viable state of Palestine, comprising the West Bank and Gaza and with

East Jerusalem as its capital. Additionally, we entirely support its

reiteration that settlements, the separation barrier on occupied land

and the demolition of homes are illegal under international law and

constitute an obstacle to peace by threatening to make a two-state

solution impossible. We have asked our Foreign Secretary to endorse

this document at the meeting in Brussels on Monday 7th December.

We pay tribute to the Swedish Presidency for raising this and for

standing firm against attempts to derail this initiative.

Yours sincerely

Martin Linton M.P, Chair of British-Swedish All-Party Parliamentary

Group and Chair of Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East

Other names below:

Robert Marshall-Andrews Q.C M.P (Labour)

Phyllis Starkey M.P (Labour)

Jeremy Corbyn M.P (Labour)

Mark Durkan M.P (SDLP)

Richard Burden M.P (Labour)

Bob Russell M.P (Liberal Democrat)

Andrew George M.P (Liberal Democrat)

Anne Moffat M.P (Labour)

Mohammad Sarwar M.P (Labour)

Dai Havard M.P (Labour)

Jim Hood M.P (Labour)

Glenda Jackson M.P (Labour)

Dr. Lynne Jones M.P (Labour)

David Lepper M.P (Labour and Co-operative)

Tom Levitt M.P (Labour)

Albert Owen M.P (Labour)

Ronnie Campbell M.P (Labour)

Martin Caton M.P (Labour)

Ann Cryer M.P (Labour)

John Cummings M.P (Labour)

David Drew M.P (Labour and Co-operative)

Peter Bottomley M.P (Conservative)

Andy Slaughter M.P (Labour)

Emily Thornberry M.P (Labour)

Linda Riordan M.P (Labour and Co-operative)

Stephen Williams M.P (Liberal Democrat)

Mark Lazarowicz M.P (Labour and Co-operative)

Claire Short M.P (Labour)

Lord Glentoran (Conservative)

Paul Rowen M.P (Liberal Democrat)

Derek Conway M.P (Conservative)

Mark Fisher M.P (Labour)

Baronness Butler-Sloss (Cross-Bench)

Charlotte Atkins M.P (Labour)

John Austin M.P (Labour)

Frank Cook M.P (Labour)

Lord Maclennan (Liberal Democrat)

Gordon Prentice M.P (Labour)

Paul Flynn M.P (Labour)

Dianne Abbott M.P (Labour)

Lord Hylton (Cross-Bench)

Dr. Brian Iddon M.P (Labour)

Lord Steel (Liberal Democrat)

Chris Mullin M.P (Labour)

Derek Wyatt M.P (Labour)

Jo Swinson M.P (Liberal Democrat)

Baroness Northover (Liberal Democrat)

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Israel intercepts Swedish Gaza-bound activist boat

The Israeli navy intercepted a Swedish-flagged activist boat bent on breaching its more than decade-long blockade of Gaza, the second in less than a week, the military said on Saturday.

Israel intercepts Swedish Gaza-bound activist boat
Photo: TT

“The ship was monitored and was intercepted in accordance with international law,” the military said in a statement, before the vessel, named Freedom for Gaza and carrying 12 people, was taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

“The (military) clarified to the ship’s passengers that they are violating the legal naval blockade and that any humanitarian merchandise can be transferred to Gaza through the Port of Ashdod,” the statement said.

The people on board were taken for “further inquiry.”

The organisers of the flotilla said the boat, which was carrying medical supplies, was intercepted in international waters.

“The demands of Ship to Gaza are that the ship with its crew and cargo will be returned to the site of the boarding, and that they will be allowed to go in peace through international and Palestinian waters in accordance to international law,” they said in a statement.

“This is a demand that the eleven years-long illegal and destructive blockade on Gaza will be lifted at last.”

Freedom was the second boat of the “Freedom Flotilla” to be intercepted en route to “break the blockade” on Gaza, organisers said.

Four boats left from Scandinavia in mid-May and stopped in some 28 ports along the way, with two remaining behind after a recent stop in the Italian port of Palermo.

On Sunday, the Israeli navy intercepted a Norwegian-flagged activist boat that was part of the flotilla.

Israel has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in Gaza since 2008 and says the blockade is necessary to keep them from obtaining weapons or materials that could be used for military purposes.

UN officials have called for the blockade to be lifted, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Palestinian enclave run by Islamist movement Hamas where 80 percent of the two million population are dependent on aid.