Press Release 31 December 2005

Scottish Friends of Palestine welcome the news of the release of Kate Burton and her parents. We welcome the support given to Kate and her parents by Palestinian civil society, its religious leaders and those of the resistance groups.

All volunteers in occupied Palestine are highly valued. They are treated as one of the community in which they live. As one spokesman said recently, they are loved by those who have come to know them.

It is SFoP’s sincere hope that the abductors treated the Burton’s in the spirit to which Kate has been accustomed since arriving amongst the Palestinian people and that she and her parents will soon enjoy and savour the traditional Palestinian hospitality reserved for friends and family.

The Palestinian people have much to lose should Western volunteers cease help them face the depredations of the occupation, the occupiers have nothing to lose should this come about. The latter welcome the opportunity to conduct a very brutal occupation out of sight of witnesses.

This, for many, makes the experience of the Burton’s all the more puzzling.

It is SFoP’s contention that the conditions imposed on the Gaza Strip and its residents, for decades, are to blame for recent events. It has resulted in the imposition of poverty, the breakdown of civil society, the prevalence of anarchic conditions and conditions of desperation where, until there is a glimmer of hope for all, the events of recent days will recur.

It is also SFoP’s contention that the answer to the events of recent days is to be found in the application of justice for all Palestinian people. This justice must be based on international law where the rights of all Palestinian people are acknowledged.

View all →