Gaza: Several Motions in the Scottish Parliament achieve cross-party support

The ceasefire in Gaza seems to be holding – just.

According to MAP – Medical Aid for Palestinians,
“after 30 days of intense attacks in which at least 1,875 Palestinians have been killed including at least 430 children, a temporary ceasefire agreement has been reached and Israel has withdrawn troops from Gaza.
“With 9,567 Palestinians injured in attacks and 30% of Gaza’s population displaced including 65,000 people who cannot return to their homes due to the level of damage, the recovery phase from these attacks will be substantial and long-lasting.”
“The UN has declared a health disaster in Gaza.”
Want to help?  Make a donation to MAP here.
The Israeli government continues to uphold its utterly cynical position that Hamas brought the disaster on. In fact, the very opposite is true: Jewish Voice for Peace has a catalogue of five claims roundly refuted by actual facts. See here.
Next, see this news via Al Jazeera – and please scroll down for a summary of Motions in the Scottish Parliament on the topic of Gaza.
“The UN has called on all parties in the Middle East to find a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict in Gaza.
“In a special meeting of the UN General Assembly convened at the request of Arab countries, Ban Ki-moon said: ‘The senseless cycle of suffering in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in Israel, must end. We will build again but this must be the last time to rebuild. This must stop now,’ he told the 193-nation assembly. Ban called for an end to rocket fire from Gaza and weapons smuggling as well as lifting an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza and bringing the besieged territory back under one Palestinian government.
“The Palestinians have demanded an end to the eight-year Israeli blockade of Gaza and the release of Palestinian prisoners. Israel has resisted those demands.
“The Egyptian-mediated 72-hour ceasefire that went into effect on Tuesday has brought relief to both sides after fighting that erupted on July 8 killed 1,875 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side.
“In Gaza, where about a half-million people have been displaced by a month of bloodshed, some residents left UN shelters to trek back to neighbourhoods where whole blocks have been destroyed by Israeli shelling and the smell of decomposing bodies fills the air.
“Streets in towns in southern Israel, which had been under daily rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, were filled again with playing children.”
The Scottish Parliament debate on Gaza held on 5th August 2014 after its return from summer recess:
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=9432&i=84731&c=0&s=gaza

In gratitude to Tony Grahame, secretary, Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Palestinefor the following summary of  Motions in the Scottish Parliament 
Motion S4M-10730: Alex Rowley, Cowdenbeath, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/08/2014
Condemnation of Unlawful Killings in Gaza
That the Parliament condemns in the strongest terms what it sees as the unlawful killing of innocent men, woman and children during the latest conflict in Gaza; notes the hopes being expressed that the UK Government, and other governments throughout the world, will remove any arms export licences that they have with the state of Israel; notes the view that it is essential for the UN to pursue a war crimes case against Israel and to hold its government accountable for the actions that have seen over 1,400 Palestinians killed in the first four weeks of the conflict; understands that the UN has stated that, by not abiding by the principles of international humanitarian law and human rights law by failing to distinguish between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives, Israel is not abiding by the principles of both international humanitarian and human rights laws; further notes the UN’s comments that the actions of the Israeli state should be investigated and the perpetrators of what it sees as these atrocious war crimes be brought to justice; congratulates the almost 700 people who joined the Kirkcaldy march and rally held on 2 August 2014 to highlight the plight of the people living in Gaza, and understands that people across Scotland are organising similar events in solidarity with those living in the most appalling of conditions in the conflict zone.

Supported by: Cara Hilton, Michael McMahon, Hugh Henry, Jim Hume, John Pentland, Christine Grahame, Elaine Murray, Mary Fee, John Finnie, Jean Urquhart, James Kelly, Jayne Baxter, Richard Lyle, Neil Findlay, Malcolm Chisholm, Anne McTaggart, Jackie Baillie, Bruce Crawford, Tavish Scott, David Torrance, Clare Adamson

Current Status: Achieved Cross Party Support
Question S4T-00756: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/08/2014 R

To ask the Scottish Government what action it has taken regarding the situation in Gaza.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 05/08/2014
Question S4O-03449: James Dornan, Glasgow Cathcart, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 30/07/2014

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking in relation to the situation in Gaza.

Current Status: Due in Chamber on 07/08/2014
Motion S4M-10675: Drew Smith, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 29/07/2014
Gaza
That the Parliament regrets and unreservedly repudiates the ongoing violence and loss of human life in Gaza and Israel, which, according to journalists running risks to their own safety to report from the area, stood, as at 28 July 2014, at more than 1,000 Palestinian deaths and 45 Israelis; considers that the continuation of violence will further escalate the already severe and enduring humanitarian catastrophe in the densely populated Gaza Strip;  believes that the number of Palestinian civilian fatalities, including many women and children, indicates a disproportionate action by the Israeli military; condemns both indiscriminate rocket attacks and military bombardment of civilians and believes that hospitals and schools, in particular, should be places of safety and therefore also condemns attacks on them or their use to store or fire weapons; confirms its view that the continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in the continued failure to achieve a political solution to a problem that cannot be solved by violence; supports the comments made by the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on 24 July, who has described the situation as an “intolerable, unacceptable crisis” and agrees with him that it is imperative for the killing to stop; notes calls for the international community to fully use its influence to break the cycle of failed talks, continuing occupation and outbreaks of violence that threaten the prospect of a two-state solution by renewed and robust efforts to broker peace and justice in the region with the objectives, amongst others, of an immediate interim ceasefire, a long-term plan to prevent further violence, efforts to aid the necessary rebuilding of Palestinian civilian infrastructure, including the importation of vital humanitarian supplies into Gaza, and crucially a process that can finally lead to the creation of a viable Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel in accordance with previous UN resolutions, and notes calls for the UK Government to support these objectives and to prohibit the supply of equipment or parts of equipment that are likely to be used against civilians and for the Scottish Government to do all that it can in support of the same and to foster and maintain good community relations between all religious and ethnic groups who have their home in Glasgow and across Scotland and who, in common with people around the world, wish to see a settlement that respects the right of all human beings, irrespective of religion or race, to live in peace with both dignity and security.

Supported by: Claudia Beamish, Hanzala Malik, Patricia Ferguson, Cara Hilton, Jim Hume, Sandra White, Iain Gray, Malcolm Chisholm, Sarah Boyack, Elaine Murray, Neil Findlay, Margaret McCulloch, Claire Baker, Jackie Baillie, John Pentland, Michael McMahon, Jayne Baxter, Duncan McNeil, Anne McTaggart, Neil Bibby, Kezia Dugdale, Hugh Henry, Gil Paterson, Alison McInnes, Jenny Marra, Richard Simpson, Elaine Smith, Richard Baker, Lewis Macdonald

Current Status: Achieved Cross Party Support
Motion S4M-10673: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/07/2014
Operation Protective Edge
That the Parliament understands that there is growing evidence that the tragic death of three Israeli teenagers, cited by the Israeli Government as one of the main reasons for Operation Protective Edge, was not committed by the Palestinian Hamas group; considers that the Israeli Government has used this tragedy to wage wanton destruction on Gaza and its people; considers that, while Israel employs the US-supplied Iron Dome defence system, ordinary Gazans are left defenceless against the relentless and inhumane Israeli bombardment, which has left many citizens dead or destitute; believes that calls from human rights groups both in Israel and around the world that Israel be brought to justice for its crimes should be heeded and that further implied impunity will only lead to further atrocities being committed; supports the campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights, which has already seen divestment from major investors such as the Norwegian and Swedish State Pension Funds alongside commitments by major retailers such as Morrisons, Marks & Spencers and the Co-op, which refuse to sell goods from the illegally occupied territories in the West Bank, and urges other businesses, governments and institutions to lend their support to the BDS campaign in a similar manner to the actions that helped bring an end to the apartheid era in South Africa.

Supported by: Bill Kidd, Kevin Stewart, Graeme Dey, Chic Brodie, Neil Findlay, Richard Lyle, Jean Urquhart, Christina McKelvie, Rob Gibson, David Torrance, Cara Hilton, Gil Paterson, Christine Grahame, Elaine Smith, Colin Beattie, Clare Adamson

Motion S4M-10660: James Dornan, Glasgow Cathcart, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/07/2014
Condemning the Continuing Bombardment of Gaza
That the Parliament condemns the continual bombardment of and incursions into Gaza, which began on 8 July 2014; expresses horror at the injuries and deaths of reportedly over 800 Gazans, including many children; condemns the bombing on 24 July 2014 of a UN school in Gaza, which has killed at least 15 people and injured more than 200; urges the UK Government and other governments to put pressure on Israel to immediately cease attacks affecting civilians and to enter into discussions with Palestinians and the UN to come to an agreement on a workable ceasefire and plan of action for moving forward to a lasting peace; believes that Israeli settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace, and urges the Scottish Government to explore a ban on services, business and goods being procured from illegal settlements.

Supported by: Cara Hilton, Patrick Harvie, John Finnie, Graeme Dey, Rob Gibson, Kevin Stewart, Richard Lyle, Christina McKelvie, Angus MacDonald, Neil Findlay, Adam Ingram, Joan McAlpine, Bill Kidd, David Torrance, Sandra White, Gil Paterson, Linda Fabiani, Bruce Crawford, Jean Urquhart, Aileen McLeod, Christine Grahame, Jim Eadie, Tavish Scott, Clare Adamson

Motion S4M-10655: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/07/2014
Shelling of UN-run School in Gaza
That the Parliament condemns the attack on the UN-run school in Beit Hanoun in Gaza, which was being used as a shelter for Palestinians fleeing violence; commiserates with the families of those killed and injured in this horrendous attack and the many others that have taken place since the Israeli offensive began on 8 July 2014, and believes that the international community must do everything possible to bring about an immediate ceasefire and a cessation of the blockade of Gaza in order to stop the senseless killing and suffering.

Supported by: Jean Urquhart, Christian Allard, Bill Kidd, Dennis Robertson, Cara Hilton, Linda Fabiani, Roderick Campbell, Richard Lyle, Christina McKelvie, Patrick Harvie, Gordon MacDonald, Annabelle Ewing, Stuart McMillan, Chic Brodie, Adam Ingram, Joan McAlpine, Colin Beattie, Neil Findlay, David Torrance, Sandra White, Gil Paterson, Bruce Crawford, John Finnie, Rob Gibson, Aileen McLeod, Elaine Smith, Tavish Scott, Maureen Watt, Clare Adamson

Motion S4M-10638: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 22/07/2014
Gaza under Attack
That the Parliament condemns Israel’s assault on Gaza; believes that, in this and similar operations, Israel has shown little regard for civilian casualties; understands that, as of 21 July 2014, over 500 Palestinians have been killed; notes the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ estimate that over one-in-five of those killed are children; urges Scotland’s public bodies to disinvest from companies operating in Israel or occupied Palestine, and calls on the UK Government to pursue sanctions against Israel.

Supported by: John Finnie, Alison Johnstone, Patrick Harvie, Cara Hilton, Christine Grahame, Malcolm Chisholm, Jim Hume, Gil Paterson, Neil Findlay, Mary Fee, Sandra White, Jayne Baxter, Gordon MacDonald, Marco Biagi, Michael McMahon, Elaine Smith, Claudia Beamish

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About Oban Concern for Palestine

. . . supporting people in Palestine and Israel who oppose the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Oban Concern for Palestine are a group of Argyll residents who share an interest in Palestine, a friendship with its people and a deep concern for their welfare. And, for the sake of Israel, we want to encourage the government of Israel to comply with international law. Oban Concern for Palestine believe that the oppression of the Palestinian people is a grave wrong, that the government of Israel is in violation of international law, and that we have a duty to speak up and do what we can to bring it to an end. We welcome new members and supporters. For more information, please contact obanconcern4palestine AT gmail DOT com • +44 7747 300 062 • Oban Concern for Palestine, c/o Stronchriach, Rowan Road, Oban, Argyll, PA34 5TY, UK
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