All attacks on Palestine must cease immediately - Anderson
Sinn Féin MEP & chair of the European Delegation for relations with Palestine, has condemned a series of attacks on Palestine in recent hours.
Speaking ahead of her visit to Jordan, Ms Anderson said,
"Palestine has been attacked from several directions in recent hours.
"In Jerusalem, Israeli authorities are continuing to prevent Palestinian worshippers from entering the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. Several dozen people have been wounded after a week of restrictions and demonstrations. This figure is set to rise as Israeli authorities have sent in hundreds of troops and police officers to reinforce their already swollen ranks. Preventing access for worshippers is a denial of the fundamental rights to dignity and expression. Israeli authorities must step back and allow safe and unrestricted access to all holy sites.
"Legitimate protests held in the West Bank to protest the ongoing siege of the Al-Aqsa mosque were met with a typically heavy-handed Israeli response, with Red Crescent representatives stating that seven Palestinians have been wounded by live Israeli fire. This is an alarming development in the week that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu declared his intention to fast-track legislation that would allow occupation forces to fire on stone-throwers.
"On top of this, Israel has launched several bombing missions on the densely populated and besieged Gaza Strip. The infrastructure of Gaza was obliterated by the Israeli onslaught last summer and further bombing campaigns will only exacerbate an already horrific humanitarian situation there.
"To add to Gazan woes, Egyptian authorities have this week begun to flood tunnels leading out of Gaza. These tunnels are used by the people of Gaza to attain essential supplies such as medical equipment and medicines. They are a tiny lifeline for the millions of people living under siege.
"Israeli and Egyptian authorities are stepping up their attacks on Gaza in the wake of a UN report that states Gaza could be 'uninhabitable by 2020'. The report goes on to state that Israeli military action and economic blockade have rendered the coastal strip unfit for civilian life. Indeed the EU Ambassador to Israel only last week told a meeting of EU delegations that the economy in Gaza was 'dead'.
"All these aggressive actions are contributing to a increase in already high tensions on the ground in Palestine. The disregard for human life being shown by Israeli and Egyptian authorities is shocking. All parties involved should do what is possible to deescalate tensions and all military operations against the improvised, deprived and beleaguered people of Gaza should stop immediately." ENDS