Sheffield Labour MPs urge parliament to condemn Palestinian village demolition

Sheffield MPs have signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) to bring parliament’s attention to Israel’s destruction of an entire Palestinian village.

Olivia Blake, Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam, tweeted last week to say she had signed the EDM, which was also signed by Labour’s Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East.

Clive Betts, Labour MP for Sheffield South East, also signed the EDM

She said the international community “must step in” to condemn the demolition of Khirbet Hamsa al-Foqa, which has made 73 people homeless, including 41 children.

According to the EDM, it is the largest incident of forced displacement in the West Bank for years.

The motion stresses MPs alarm that equipment manufactured by British company JCB is being supplied to Israeli forces for the demolition of Palestinian structures.

It calls on the government to ban all UK trade with illegal Israeli settlements and to take action to prevent equipment supplied by British companies such as JCB from operating in them.

When contacted for comment, Ms Blake said:

“Many of my constituents have written to me over the last week about the appalling scenes in the Palestinian village of Khirbet Hamsa al-Foqa, where people’s homes are being demolished.

“I, along with many of my colleagues, have signed this Early Day Motion. For too long our government, and the international community, have looked the other way. It’s time we step in to end these illegal and inhuman demolitions.”

While Israel claims villagers were living there illegally, The University of Sheffield’s Palestine Society also strongly condemned Israel’s actions, and drew attention to UK universities’ institutional links with JCB.

A spokesperson said: “The demolitions contribute to the ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people and is central in creating a coercive environment in their attempt to ethnically cleanse an indigenous peoples from their land.

“It is enraging to see unethical and illegal actions committed by the state of Israel be met with total impunity and silence from the international community.

“We urge the British government to take action at last and put an end to decades of Israeli apartheid, and for UK universities to cut their ties with unethical companies.”

Written by Allegra Goodwin

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