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Legacy of the Balfour Declaration 100 Years On

As an amendment to motion S5M-08599 in the name of Sandra White (Legacy of the Balfour Declaration 100 Years On), leave out from ""; notes the reported" to end and insert "or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country'; believes that the highest aims of the Balfour Declaration have been achieved on this its 100th anniversary; pays tribute to the memory of Arthur James Balfour and believes that his declaration is symbolic of Scotland and Israel's historic ties, which it considers should be built upon in this centenary year; highlights what it sees as the importance given to minority rights in democratic Israel, with the country's declaration of independence granting 'all Israel’s inhabitants equality of social and political rights irrespective of religion, race or gender'; considers that this is symbolised by the growth of the Arab-Israeli population, which saw 200,000 Arabs who did not flee during the 1948 War of Independence being absorbed into Israeli society as equal citizens and whose descendants make up Israel’s 1.7 million-strong Arab minority today; contrasts this to what it understands was the expulsion of over 800,000 Jews from countries in the Middle East and North Africa following the UN decision to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states in 1947; further contrasts this to the treatment of minorities, especially Christians, in neighbouring Middle Eastern countries, which have been reported as having seen their populations fall since 1948; believes that, thanks to protection for minorities guaranteed under the Israeli declaration of independence, Israel's Christian population has grown significantly; challenges the proposition that Gaza is under so-called military occupation, given that the then Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, unilaterally withdrew the Israeli Defence Force and forcibly removed Israeli citizens living in Gaza in 2005; takes the view that the terrorist actions of Hamas have brought misery on ordinary Gazans who face military incursion as Israel, like any other country, takes what it sees as robust action to defend its citizens from indiscriminate terror; expresses concern that the Hamas regime has  continued to govern without further elections since 2006; calls on supporters of the Palestinians and others to speak up against what it believes has been the abuse of their human rights by a notably corrupt Hamas leadership; trusts that the centenary of the Balfour Declaration will be commemorated and celebrated as a key moment in the creation of Israel, and acknowledges and pays tribute to its Scottish author, Lord Balfour."

Supported by: Miles Briggs, Jeremy Balfour, Liz Smith, Alexander Stewart, Peter Chapman, Tom Mason, Michelle Ballantyne, Richard Lyle, Alison Harris, Adam Tomkins R, Margaret Mitchell, Jamie Greene, Maurice Corry, Murdo Fraser, Kenneth Gibson, Annie Wells, Dean Lockhart, Rachael Hamilton, Bill Bowman

Legacy of the Balfour Declaration 100 Years On

That the Parliament recognises the 100-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which proclaimed “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” on the explicit understanding that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”; notes the reported continued criticism of the UK Government and what it considers its reneging on the promise given in the Balfour Declaration to the Palestinians who are today under military occupation in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, preventing them from exercising their inalienable right to self-determination; considers that, since the Balfour Declaration, Palestinians are dispossessed, oppressed in their own land, refugees in neighbouring countries or scattered throughout the world, and calls on the UK Government to recognise immediately the State of Palestine, uphold rigorously the Geneva Conventions, which Britain co-wrote and ratified after the Second World War, and give practical effect to the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap.

Supported by: Claudia Beamish, John Finnie, Ivan McKee, Neil Findlay, Pauline McNeill, Ross Greer, Clare Haughey, Jenny Gilruth, Bob Doris, David Torrance

Palestinian Cancer Patients Delay in Treatment

That the Parliament acknowledges the recent report from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), an organisation that works to promote a society where the right to health is granted equally to all people, which indicates that women cancer patients from the Gaza Strip have been waiting on average up to 6 months for urgent medical treatment, which they can only receive in Israel; understands that the longest delay has been eight months in the case of a 28-year-old mother of four, who has bone-marrow cancer and a possible spleen tumour, while two other women with breast cancer, aged 44 and 51, have been delayed for more than half a year each while the Israeli authorities, who process their permit applications, refuse to respond to queries regarding those cases; further understands that PHR-I has reported that, over the past year, delays in the response of Israeli authorities to Palestinians’ applications to exit Gaza for medical treatment in Israel and elsewhere have become a critical obstacle that denies hundreds of patients each month access to medical treatment that is unavailable to them in Gaza; acknowledges PHR-I's frustration with the bureaucratic system, which it considers is putting Palestinian lives at risks, and calls on the Israeli authorities to allow the entry of women cancer patients into Israel without delay.

Supported by: Bill Kidd, Neil Findlay, Rona Mackay, Clare Adamson, Maree Todd, Ivan McKee

Save the Children, Gaza’s Children Spend Eid in the Dark

That the Parliament notes that, in 2012, a UN report stated that Gaza would be unlivable by 2020; acknowledges, however, recent comments by Save the Children that Gaza is unlivable now; understands that Save the Children has urged Israel to lift the Gaza blockade and for the Palestinian and Israeli authorities to provide basic services to the residents of Gaza; believes that the international community has failed to react to the suffering of Palestinian children in Gaza; considers that a decade of isolation has reduced power available to households to just eight hours a day, with many families getting only two hours of electricity per day and others getting none, and that these power shortages are also affecting Gaza’s already crippled infrastructure; understands that the shortening or suspensions of sewage treatment cycles has led to increased levels of pollution and contamination of groundwater sources and the Mediterranean sea, leaving more than 60% of the sea around Gaza contaminated with untreated sewage and over 90% of water sources too contaminated for human consumption, and calls on the international community to respond to what it considers this humanitarian catastrophe.

Supported by: Ross Greer, Patrick Harvie, Christine Grahame, Sandra White, Rona Mackay, Bill Kidd, Ivan McKee, James Dornan, Alex Rowley, Maree Todd, Ben Macpherson, Neil Findlay, Alison Johnstone

Palestinian Authority Terrorist Salaries

That the Parliament condemns the ongoing payments by the Palestinian Authority to terror prisoners in Israeli prisons and to the so-called families of martyrs; understands that these monthly salaries are paid to around 5,500 convicted terrorists, ranging from £230 to as much as £2,000 for those serving 30-year sentences; believes that prisoner salaries directly reward terrorists who have killed Israelis, with higher salaries given to those who have killed more Israelis; understands that in 2016 the Palestinian Authority paid £254 million for this practice, worth 7% of its budget and 20% of its foreign aid receipts; further understands that analysis of the authority's Finance Ministry budget for 2017 shows that expenditure on such payments will rise 13%; believes that in April 2017 the authority announced that it was cutting salaries to state employees in Gaza, while at the same time allowing the salaries it pays to terror prisoners to continue, and calls on the UK and Scottish governments, working alongside the international community, to ensure that taxpayers' money is not used to comfort those who have brought death and despair to all creeds of Scottish Israelis and Israelis more generally.

Supported by: Liam Kerr, Jeremy Balfour, Alexander Stewart, Peter Chapman, Miles Briggs, Tom Mason, Liz Smith, Alison Harris, Jamie Greene, Rachael Hamilton, Murdo Fraser, Michelle Ballantyne

Hamas-Fatah Rivalry Killing Palestinians

As an amendment to motion S5M-06576 in the name of Jackson Carlaw (Hamas-Fatah Rivalry Killing Palestinians), leave out from "that the Hamas-Fatah feud" to end and insert "of recent preventable deaths in the Gaza Strip, including the deaths of three Palestinian babies; understands that these babies and other patients could not be treated in Gaza, where the healthcare system is, it believes, under extreme duress due to the Israeli blockade, which prevents medical equipment from reaching hospitals; considers that responsibility for approving permits for Palestinian patients needing to leave Gaza for medical appointments rests solely with the Israeli authorities; understands that the World Health Organization found that, in May 2017, this approval rate had dropped to its lowest in seven years; considers that Israel’s restrictions on access to and from Gaza go far beyond what is permitted by international humanitarian law and human rights law, and calls on the Israeli Government to honour what it believes is the requirement, under the law of occupation as codified in Article 43 of the Hague Regulations, to permit the proper functioning of civil society and its obligations to respect the human rights of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank."

Supported by: Jenny Gilruth, Ross Greer, Rona Mackay, Clare Haughey, Sandra White, Fulton MacGregor

Internal Palestinian Dispute Halts Fuel Shipments to Gaza

That the Parliament notes with concern reports that a feud between Fatah and Hamas continues, it believes, to cause suffering for Palestinians; understands that the only power plant in Gaza has largely shut down because of the reported halting of fuel shipments to the territory, and that Gazans now only have 90 megawatts of power available according to Gisha, an Israeli NGO; is concerned that this covers barely one fifth of demand from almost two million people, particularly in the hot and humid summer months; understands that residents say that they are getting less than three hours of power at a time, followed by blackouts that stretch up to 16 hours; believes that Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority and member of Fatah, has now barred Palestinian banks from transferring money to Egypt to pay for fuel; understands that Egypt has tried to compensate for the reduction of electricity to Gaza by sending large fuel shipments to the area, and calls for all parties to work together to improve the lives of Gazans rather than blaming Israel for what it believes are their own misdeeds.

Supported by: Alison Harris, Bill Bowman, Jeremy Balfour, Alexander Stewart, Tom Mason, Miles Briggs, Dean Lockhart, Richard Lyle, Edward Mountain, Liz Smith, Peter Chapman, Annie Wells, Rachael Hamilton

Dr Denis Rutovitz

That the Parliament congratulates Dr Denis Rutovitz on receiving an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh; understands that he has worked for many years at the Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit and founded the charity Edinburgh Direct Aid in 1992 in response to the horrors of the war in Bosnia; notes the excellent work that the charity has carried out and that Denis personally led the majority of its aid convoys until the end of that conflict in 1996; understands that, since then, the charity has been active in Kosovo, Syria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Kenya; applauds Denis's humanitarian work in Gaza, which includes taking medical aid there and establishing links between doctors in Gaza and in Scotland, and considers him to be richly deserving of this honour.

Supported by: Ruth Maguire, Rona Mackay, Sandra White, Ivan McKee, Bill Kidd, Alex Rowley, Ben Macpherson, Stewart Stevenson, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Kenneth Gibson, Tom Arthur, Fulton MacGregor, Jackie Baillie

Hamas-Fatah Rivalry Killing Palestinians

That the Parliament notes with concern reports that the Hamas-Fatah feud has led to the death of three Palestinian babies; believes that Gaza is controlled by Hamas while Fatah retain control of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank; understands that the report from The Times of London suggests that the three babies suffered from heart conditions and died after the Palestinian Authority reportedly refused to pay for them to be treated in Israel; believes that Israeli and Palestinian officials have said that the Palestinian Authority has stopped processing requests for urgent medical care, which it understands has left more than 1,600 patients on waiting lists, and that, according to a health spokesman for the health ministry in Gaza, six adults have also reportedly died waiting for permits, and believes that, sadly, this can and should be seen as a direct result of the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah, which has also reportedly seen the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, halt shipments of medicine and baby formula to hospitals in Gaza.

Supported by: Peter Chapman, Alexander Stewart, Bill Bowman, Miles Briggs, Liz Smith, Alison Harris, Annie Wells, Jeremy Balfour, Rachael Hamilton, Oliver Mundell, Liam Kerr, Margaret Mitchell

10th Anniversary of Israel Tightening its Blockade on Gaza

As an amendment to motion S5M-06297 in the name of Ivan McKee (10th Anniversary of Israel Tightening its Blockade on Gaza), leave out from "blockade" to end and insert "restrictions on movement from, and imports into, the Gaza Strip; understands that this was a direct result of the violent takeover of the area by the terrorist organisation, Hamas, in 2007, which, it believes, has subsequently used imported materials to construct weapons and military infrastructure; acknowledges that the Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement, the so-called 'Hamas Charter', calls for the destruction of the democratic state of Israel; believes that Israel, like any other responsible country, must put the principal duty of protecting its citizens against terror at the forefront of its actions; condemns Hamas on what it sees as its mistreatment of Gazans; believes that the people of Gaza who have often lost out on the benefit of humanitarian aid because Hamas chooses to use it for the purposes of terror rather than providing help; understands that it is estimated that Hamas used hundreds of thousands of tonnes of concrete and an estimated £63 million to construct as many as 32 tunnels into Israel for terror purposes, which were subsequently destroyed by Israel in 2014 during Operation Protective Edge; believes that, since then, Hamas has continued to construct these tunnels and other infrastructure to kill Israelis of all creeds; thanks Israel on what it sees as its continuing support of reconstruction efforts in the Gaza Strip following that operation, despite the security risks involved; believes that these efforts have included Israel approving the importation of materials in January 2017, which were capable of assisting in the rebuilding of 1,500 homes and an expanding its border crossings with Gaza to handle up to 800 truckloads of goods per day, at a cost of £6.4 million; welcomes the medical support that Israel is providing to the Gaza Strip; understands that, in 2016, over 10,000 Gazans crossed into Israel to seek medical treatment and that Israel supplies 100 tonnes of medical supplies to Gaza every week; welcomes the reported increase in the amount water supplied to Gaza from Israel, from 5 million to 10 million cubic metres annually; is astonished by what it understands is the electricity crisis currently affecting the Gaza Strip, which sees many residents with only three to four hours of power per day because of the feud between Fatah and Hamas; acknowledges that Egypt also imposes a blockade on Gaza along its border; believes that the Egyptian blockade appears to be deliberately ignored in order to support an anti-Israel agenda; understands that, since August 2013, the Egyptian army has destroyed hundreds of Hamas' tunnels that have been instrumental in smuggling weapons to Salafist IS-linked terrorists in the Sinai peninsula; considers that the people who singularly focus on Israel knowingly ignore what it sees as the crimes of the Palestinian Authority against the Palestinian people, and calls for MSPs to take a more nuanced and informed approach on matters concerning the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

Supported by: Alison Harris, Jeremy Balfour, Murdo Fraser, Maurice Corry, Peter Chapman, Oliver Mundell, Miles Briggs, Liam Kerr, Bill Bowman, Annie Wells