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10th Anniversary of Israel Tightening its Blockade on Gaza

That the Parliament acknowledges that June 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of Israel tightening its blockade on Gaza; believes that this action has significantly damaged the economy of the region, resulting in over 40% unemployment, roughly 80% of people being dependent on some form of humanitarian aid and a very serious shortage of medical supplies; understands that there have been numerous military offensives that have caused huge loss of life and internal displacement and significant damage to the infrastructure, which is very difficult to rebuild due to the blockade’s strict restrictions on building materials, and encourages all parties involved to work toward a peaceful solution and to bear in mind that the habitability of Gaza, and therefore the lives of its people, are considered to be at immediate risk.

Supported by: Gordon MacDonald, Ruth Maguire, Bill Kidd, Sandra White, David Torrance, Claudia Beamish, Ash Denham, Ben Macpherson, Fulton MacGregor, John Finnie

Amnesty International Calls for UK to Ban Imports from Illegal Israeli Settlements

That the Parliament notes the launch of a new campaign by Amnesty International, which calls on the UK to ban the import of all goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements; understands that this campaign has been launched to mark the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip; notes the belief that hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of goods produced in Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land are exported internationally each year, despite most countries around the world having officially condemned the settlements as illegal under international law, and calls for an end to the illegal settlements.

Supported by: Ross Greer, Andy Wightman, Alex Rowley, Ivan McKee, Sandra White, Neil Findlay

Human Rights Violations in Palestine

That the Parliament understands that 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the 50th anniversary of the military occupation of Palestine and the 10th anniversary of the siege of Gaza; notes the current commemorations of the Nakba (The Catastrophe), which remember the forced displacement in 1948 of over 750,000 Palestinians and the seizure and destruction of their homes; believes that, 69 years later, Israeli land confiscations and house demolitions are increasing, in violation of international law, while almost 1,800 Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails are on a mass hunger strike in an effort to gain the most basic human rights, which it considers are currently denied to them; acknowledges the data collected by the Israeli human rights organisation, B'tselem, which reportedly details the almost 10,000 Palestinians, including 2,000 Palestinian children, killed by Israeli security forces in the occupied territories in recent years; considers, in light of this, the timing of the visit of the Ambassador of Israel to the UK, Mark Regev, to the Parliament on 18 May 2017 to be particularly insensitive, and calls on those who are meeting with him formally to raise these issues in discussion.

Supported by: Mairi Evans, Rona Mackay, Ruth Maguire, Claudia Beamish, Ross Greer, Sandra White, Pauline McNeill, Alex Rowley, John Finnie, Ash Denham, Patrick Harvie, David Torrance, Gillian Martin, Clare Haughey, Anas Sarwar, Ben Macpherson, Neil Findlay, James Dornan, Bill Kidd, Christina McKelvie, Elaine Smith, Fulton MacGregor, Stuart McMillan, Andy Wightman, Maree Todd, Jenny Gilruth, Clare Adamson

Restoration of Relations between Turkey and Israel

That the Parliament welcomes the restoration of relations between Israel and Turkey after a six-year break; believes that this can set an example for other nations in the region to improve relations between one another; further welcomes the news that, as part of the deal, Turkey has already shipped 11,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid destined for Gaza, and hopes that more nations can work together to overcome past difficulties to build a lasting peace in the region.

Supported by: Kenneth Gibson, Clare Haughey, Richard Lyle, Jackson Carlaw, David Torrance, Maurice Golden

Current Status: Fallen on 29/11/2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its position in supporting Palestinian refugees.

Answered by Humza Yousaf (30/09/2015):

Scotland has a strong record in welcoming, supporting and integrating refugees from across the globe. Our strategy New Scots: Integrating Refugees in Scotland’s Communities provides the framework for supporting refugees who have made a home in Scotland.

In July 2014 I wrote to the Home Secretary calling on the UK to help ease the refugee crisis in Gaza and the West Bank at that time, and confirming that Scotland would be willing to accept Palestinian refugees.

Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 30/09/2015
As Gaza Withers, its People Perish

That the Parliament notes the findings of the UN report that suggest that the Gaza strip could become uninhabitable by 2020 due to what it terms de-development, the process whereby development is not only hindered but reversed, stating that “Three Israeli military operations in the past six years, in addition to eight years of economic blockade, have ravaged the already debilitated infrastructure of Gaza, shattered its productive base, left no time for meaningful reconstruction or economic recovery and impoverished the Palestinian population in Gaza, rendering their economic wellbeing worse than the level of two decades previous”; can understand the feelings of many that the Israeli Government’s action and inaction with regards to Gaza are deliberate and leading to the genocide of those living there; supports those Israelis, Palestinians, Jews and non-Jews alike from Glasgow, Scotland and around the world who believe in mutual respect and understanding as cornerstones to a just solution in Palestine and Israel while condemning violence and extremism in any form; further believes that this groundswell of support for justice will only grow should the current situation not change, and hopes that, mindful of such, wise counsel will prevail.

Supported by: Kenny MacAskill, David Torrance, Bill Kidd, Chic Brodie, Cara Hilton, Christina McKelvie, Patricia Ferguson, Patrick Harvie, Michael Russell, Jean Urquhart, James Dornan, Graeme Dey, Linda Fabiani, Rob Gibson, Christine Grahame, Adam Ingram, Richard Lyle, Mike MacKenzie, Richard Simpson, Jim Hume, Sarah Boyack, Kevin Stewart, Neil Findlay, Gil Paterson, John Finnie, Clare Adamson, Malcolm Chisholm, Claudia Beamish, Mark McDonald

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 27/10/2015
Festival of St John 2015

That the Parliament congratulates St John Scotland on its annual celebration of the Festival of St John on 26 June 2015 at Wellington Church in Glasgow; acknowledges what it considers the hard work and commitment shown by Sir Malcolm Ross, who has held the position of Prior of Scotland for the last six years; congratulates Major General Mark Strudwick, who was invested as prior at the ceremony, all those who were admitted to the order for the first time and those members of the order presented with service medals and bars; notes what it sees as the considerable and extremely generous charitable work done by the organisation both in the UK and overseas, notably the funding of the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem and its associated outreach clinics in Gaza and the West Bank to which St John Scotland provided £212,000; considers that it also provides invaluable support local First Responder groups, including Neilston and Uplawmoor First Responders in East Renfrewshire, which allows these volunteer organisations to continue to provide emergency medical attention for residents throughout the area, and celebrates the organisation's continued efforts to provide defibrillators and lifesaving training to clubs and organisations across Scotland.

Supported by: Jackie Baillie, David Torrance, Nanette Milne, Liz Smith, Cameron Buchanan, Sandra White, Jamie McGrigor, Margaret Mitchell, Anne McTaggart, Gil Paterson, Hanzala Malik, Colin Beattie, Kenneth Gibson, Richard Lyle, Kevin Stewart, Dennis Robertson, Annabel Goldie

Current Status: Fallen on 24/11/2015
Freedom Flotilla Coalition Sets Sail to Gaza

That the Parliament supports the Freedom Flotilla Coalition in its attempts to end the naval blockade of Gaza, which has been described by the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Baroness Valerie Amos, as amounting to "a collective punishment of all those living in Gaza and is a denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law"; notes that a convoy of ships has departed from European ports with the objective of delivering humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, and calls on the international community to assist in ensuring that Israel allows this much needed aid to enter the Gaza Strip.

Supported by: Bill Kidd, Joan McAlpine, Cara Hilton, Christina McKelvie, Stuart McMillan, Rob Gibson, Jackie Baillie, Adam Ingram, Graeme Dey, Mike MacKenzie, Richard Simpson, John Finnie, Neil Findlay, Kevin Stewart, Jim Hume, Colin Beattie, Mark McDonald, Clare Adamson, Christine Grahame, Gil Paterson, David Torrance, Dennis Robertson

Current Status: Fallen on 30/09/2015
Action Needed to Deliver on Gaza Reconstruction Promises

That the Parliament notes with concern the international report, Charting a New Course: Overcoming the stalemate in Gaza, which highlights that six months on from the conflict in Gaza, when donors pledged $3.5 billion toward Gaza’s recovery, many people are worse off and not one of the 19,000 destroyed homes has been rebuilt; understands that 100,000 men, women and children are still homeless and that many are living in makeshift camps or schools; supports the calls made by 46 agencies, including Medical Aid for Palestinians, Action Aid, Save the Children, Oxfam and Christian Aid, for an urgent change in the international communities' approach to Gaza to allow the people there to rebuild their lives; believes that this must include an end to the blockade on Gaza, which has reduced Gaza to dependency on aid, with 80% of the population receiving international assistance and 63% of young people being unemployed; supports calls for an end to the ongoing violations of international law that undermine peace in the region and the immediate resumption of long-term ceasefire negotiations to end the cycle of violence and build a lasting peace in Gaza and security for both Israelis and Palestinians, and urges both the Scottish and UK governments to support international calls for action to deliver on Gaza reconstruction promises.

Supported by: Patricia Ferguson, Elaine Smith, Jackie Baillie, Elaine Murray, Neil Findlay, Anne McTaggart, Richard Simpson, Hanzala Malik, David Torrance, Jean Urquhart, Sarah Boyack, Margaret McDougall, John Finnie, Sandra White R, Malcolm Chisholm, Lewis Macdonald, Dave Thompson

Current Status: Fallen on 16/06/2015
Get on Your Bike for the Children of Gaza

That the Parliament congratulates Red Spokes on organising the Big Ride, a sponsored cycle from Edinburgh to London that aims to raise £100,000 in aid of children in Gaza; understands that the money will be donated to the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), a non-profit organisation working for the rights of children in the Middle East; further understands that MECA will put the money toward its projects in Gaza, which are helping to support and rebuild children's lives that have been damaged as a result of the continuing conflict in the region; understands that the Big Ride will be launched on 17 January 2015 at Edinburgh City Chambers, with the ride taking place from 1 to 9 August, and wishes all involved the best of luck with the event.

Supported by: Joan McAlpine, David Torrance, Roderick Campbell, Cara Hilton, Richard Lyle, Adam Ingram, Patricia Ferguson, Bruce Crawford, Kevin Stewart, Mike MacKenzie, Rob Gibson, Neil Findlay, Colin Beattie, Bill Kidd, Jean Urquhart, Drew Smith, Dennis Robertson, Linda Fabiani, James Dornan, John Finnie, Claudia Beamish R, Stuart McMillan

Current Status: Fallen on 27/03/2015