Press Release 5 August 2004
Scottish Friends of Palestine congratulates the Scottish Parliament on its recent motion (see below) over Israel’s notorious and internationally condemned separation wall. With foreign affairs a reserved issue for Westminster it is important that Scotland, as a nation, makes its voice loud and clear on this important matter.
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Israel’s Separation Wall
That this parliament applauds the 201 Members of Parliament who have signed EDM 407 “Israel’s Separation Wall” calling on Israel to cease immediately the building of its separation wall deep within Palestinian territory; Notes that the Wall will be 687km long and will leave more that 274,000 Palestinians living in 122 villages and towns either surrounded by the wall or trapped between the Wall and Israel’s internationally recognised borders, some even requiring permits from Israel to continue living in their own homes and an estimated further 400,000 Palestinians living east of the Wall will be separated from their farms, jobs, markets, hospitals and schools, effecting severe humanitarian consequences for 30% of the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank; Contrasts this with the fact that UN figures reveal that 54 Israeli settlements in the West Bank and 63% of settlers will be on the side of the wall next to Israel, giving Israel control over the richest agricultural land and the aquifer system which provides much of the West Bank’s water resources; Further notes that the Wall is made up of concrete, razor wire and electronic fences, trenches, motion sensors, guard towers and security roads, that it costs $4.7 million per kilometre and that it violates articles 53 and 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Britain is a high-contracting party, which forbids the destruction of property and confinement of persons by an occupier; Welcomes the decision of the International Court of to open hearings into the legal consequences of the construction of the Wall; Further notes that, whilst Israel needs security, the Wall does not follow internationally recognised borders; Insists that it does not become a de facto border for a future Palestinian state; Further notes that only a reinvigorated peace process with full international support will stop the violence on both sides, not an 8 metre high wall; and calls on the British Government to bring all available pressure to bear on Israel to cease building this wall.