I joined a cross-party delegation with the Council for Arab and British Understanding (CAABU) and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) to East Jerusalem and the West Bank. We met a varied number of NGOs and human rights organisations to talk about the effect of the occupation on Palestinians, particularly in terms of their access to healthcare and for legal rights.
We attended the military courts – Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are subject to military law whereas Israelis in the same territory are subject to Israeli civilian law – where we saw boys as young as 12 sentenced to six months in jail for throwing stones.
We visited a hospital in East Jerusalem where we spoke to very young children undergoing serious medical treatment without their parents present because they were trapped in Gaza. And we visited Hebron and the Jordan Valley where the difference between the treatment of Israelis and Palestinians was incredibly stark.
I’ve been a member of Labour Friends of Palestine for many years but experiencing the occupation up close was truly frightening. I’ll continue to push on this issue even harder in the British Parliament, particularly in relation to settlement goods.