Launch of major coalition to end Israeli occupation of Palestine

 Actors, politicians and members of human rights, solidarity and peace movements, including Pax Christi, gathered today in Westminster for the launch of a new coalition ENOUGH: End the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. 2007 marks the 40-year anniversary of the Six Day War, in which the Israeli Army took military control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including East Jerusalem. Since that time the government of Israel has built 'settlements' in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and assisted its citizens in setting up homes and businesses using land and resources taken from the Palestinian people. This situation has continued to the current day despite Israel being in violation of international humanitarian law and over 60 UN resolutions. Introduced by actress Miriam Margolis, Prof Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian Delegate and a Christian, spoke of the occupation as the longest in modern history and he described it as a common enemy to the long-term security of the people of Israel and Palestine. Another speaker, Yonathan Shapira, a former Israeli pilot, told of his desire to join the nonviolent struggle against occupation - to liberate both Jews and Palestinians from the occupation. He spoke of his love for his country and of the need for pressure within Israel itself, and from the international community, to work for peace and justice in Palestine. The ENOUGH! Coalition has come together to work for peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Members believe that this can only be built on justice, equality and freedom. In order to achieve this goal governments like the British government must stand up for international law and human rights. The Coalition will organise awareness raising events during the course of the year, a national rally on 9th June and a lobby of parliament in November. Coalition members include: Amicus, Amos Trust, Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, CAABU, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Friends of Birzeit University, Green Party, ICAHD UK, Interpal, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jewish Socialist Group, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Muslim Association of Britain, Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Public Affairs Committee, NUJ, Open Bethlehem, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Palestinian Return Centre, Pax Christi, PCS, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Trade Union Friends of Palestine, UNISON, War on Want, Welfare Association For more information contact: Pat Gaffney, Pax Christi 0208 203 4884 ENOUGH! Coalition website:

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