December 5 2013 Latest news:
by Alex Wellman, Reporter
Friday, September 6, 2013
Campaigners demanding greater rights for people in parts of Palestine have launched a hard-hitting publicity drive in Islington asking residents – what would you do?
More than 50,000 flyers will be dropped through people’s front doors while an ad van drives around the borough with images of real situations in Palestine transported to locations in Islington.
The campaign is the brainchild of the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians and aims to get people thinking about what daily life is like for some of the 4 million Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
The charity says that last year, more than 39,000 Palestinian people in the territories of West Bank and Gaza Strip were refused access to hospitals.
That figure is the equivalent of 685,000 people - or the combined populations of London’s Islington, Camden and Hackney boroughs.
The campaign, which will run in the borough for 10 days, has support of Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, comedian Jeremy Hardy and playwright Caryl Churchill.
Mr Hardy said: “We can all imagine the extraordinary paralysis and anger we would feel here if this was the reality Londoners faced every day.
“We wouldn’t tolerate it and we shouldn’t tolerate Israel denying Palestinians their basic rights to health and freedom of movement.”
The West Bank has over 500 roadblocks and checkpoints, which at any time can be closed to prevent Palestinians from travelling, while six specialist hospitals are in East Jerusalem - on the other side of the separation wall which cuts into the region.
To travel from many parts of the West Bank to another, Palestinians have to apply for a permit from the Israeli authorities which can be denied without explanation.
Mr Corbyn said: “I hope it will make the people of Islington better understand the deplorable situation that Palestinians face and motivate them to support MAP’s critical work.”
Dramatist Caryl Churchill said: “This campaign brings home the conditions faced by people living in the West Bank and Gaza, which rarely make the news but are felt by Palestinians every day.”
The campaign was launched outside Islington Town Hall in Upper Street on Wednesday.