MEP tear gassed in Palestine

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Chris Davies hits out at ‘shameful’ treatment

A BRITISH Euro-MP was tear gassed and knocked to the ground by Israel troops while taking part in a peaceful demonstration against the theft of Palestinian land.

Liberal Democrat Chris Davies said that protesters had their hands in the air as a gesture of non-violence when the soldiers released a barrage of tear gas grenades and sound blast bombs.

The troops then advanced on the 100 Palestinian and Israeli protestors, joined by others from France, Belgium, Ireland and Britain, forcing them back and knocking some down.

The demonstration which took place last Friday at Belin, 20 miles from Jerusalem, was intended to add weight to international condemnation of the building by Israeli of a dividing wall that is confiscating huge areas of Palestinian land.

The wall is providing cover for the building of new Jewish settlements across the occupied Palestinian territories, making impossible the creation of a viable and independent Palestinian state.

Mr Davies, a member of the European Parliament’s official delegation to Palestine, was marching with Italian colleague Luisa Morgantini MEP. 

He suffered no serious injuries but said that the experience had left him shocked.

“It is shameful that the troops of a democratic nation think nothing of attacking peaceful protestors on territory that is not their own” he said.

“I was reminding the soldiers that they were in breach of international law, and that the theft of Palestinian land could only increase divisions, when the attack began.”

Mr Davies called on the UK Government and European Union to back up their words of condemnation against the illegal building of Israeli townships with some practical action.

“Peace in the Middle East demands justice and fair play,” he said. “Our one-sided policy of support for Israel does nothing to address the despair that Palestinians feel as they see their land being taken from them.”

 

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