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PNP calls for end to violence against Palestinians

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

JAMAICA'S Opposition People's National Party (PNP) says it views with alarm and sadness the death of 60 Palestinians and wounding of more than 2,700 people in the Gaza Strip during protest against the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.

These protests, said a PNP release, were anticipated based on the warnings throughout the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “Therefore, precautionary measures should have been a priority of the region to prevent the violence and unmitigated bloodshed, now taking place,” said the release.

“The excessive use of force against the Palestinian people must be condemned,” added the party.

The PNP, in the meantime, admonished the Government of Jamaica for playing a significant role in the current unrest by its abstention from the crucial United Nations General Assembly vote in favour of protecting Jerusalem as the Holy City earlier this year.

Analysts, however, do not believe Jamaica voting in favour or against the resolution would bear any impact on the actions of Israeli forces who fired at protesting Palestinians.

Said the PNP: “We have always recognised the significance of Jerusalem in the search for a permanent resolution to the situation in the Middle East [but] this Government has deviated from Jamaica's historical principled position when it abstained without reason and placed the prospect of peace in the Middle East in jeopardy.”

The party said that Jamaica has over the years supported:

• the right of Israel to exist;

• a negotiated political settlement, based on a two-state solution;

• the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people; and

• the call for peaceful resolution of the conflict and minimising human suffering and loss of life and the heightened role of the United Nations.

The PNP said it is mindful of the Caribbean region's importance to world peace, and called on the Jamaican Government to support the United Nations' effort to restore peace in the volatile Jerusalem.

“The PNP supports efforts that are fundamental to the principles of self-determination and respect for the human rights of all peoples,” said the release.

— See related story on Page 29