BYM renews call for state of Palestine to be recognised

Britain Yearly Meeting has renewed its call for the UK government to recognise the state of Palestine, following Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that he intends to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestine territories

Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) has reaffirmed its 2014 call to the UK government to ‘honour its commitment to the two-state solution and recognise the state of Palestine without delay’. The call follows Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that he intended to annex Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine, if he was elected for another term as prime minister. It was confirmed that the prime minster had won his fifth term on 10 April.

A statement from BYM said: ‘Israeli settlements are built in clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and impinge deeply on the human rights of Palestinians. There is international consensus that annexing the settlements would make a future Palestinian state unviable and therefore end any chance of a two-state solution.’

Paul Parker, recording clerk for BYM, recalled the statement from 2014 Yearly Meeting and reaffirmed that ‘the causes of this conflict, including the structural violence of occupation, must be addressed. Such violence damages all the people of the region’. He said: ‘The statement said that the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis will “only be resolved when Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory is ended and the inherent equality, worth, and dignity of all is realised”.’

The 2014 statement also said: ‘From our long-standing Quaker experience of working on this issue in Palestine, Israel and Britain, and from listening to the testimony of Quakers in Ramallah, we are convinced that the UK government has a real role to play. A starting place would be for the UK to recognise Palestine as a nation state on the same basis as it recognises Israel.’

Paul Parker said: ‘We long for – and will work for – a time when the deep fear experienced on all sides is replaced by security and a just peace.’

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