Just one day before the Israeli general election, Binyamin Netanyahu stood in an East Jerusalem settlement and said in a televised interview that he would never agree to a Palestinian state if re-elected and would not halt settlement construction (Report, 17 March). The next day, he and his party were re-elected to power with a decisive majority, giving a mandate to his pre-election commitments – commitments which fly in the face of any “peace process”, freedom and justice for Palestinians, and international law. Netanyahu’s unequivocal words cannot be ignored by the UN, the US, the UK and the EU. Israel’s prime minister has made it explicitly clear that his country will continue to breach international law, and these are not statements that can be retracted. Now is the time for sanctions. Without sanctions on Israel, Palestinians cannot see a future free of occupation, apartheid and, in Gaza, crippling siege. The next UK government must push the EU to impose immediate sanctions on Israel until it abides by international law, ends settlement building, and ends the occupation and the blockade of Gaza.
Hugh Lanning (Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign), Maxine Peake, Brian Eno, Miriam Margolyes, Ken Loach, Benjamin Zephaniah, Paul Laverty, Ahdaf Soueif, Dr Karma Nabulsi
At least twenty Palestinians have been severely injured as Israeli forces use live rounds to disperse a protest in Ramallah.
One of those injured in the Saturday night attack on the protest is in a critical condition as he was shot in the head.
The protest was held outside the al-Jalazun refugee camp in northern Ramallah following a march commemorating the first death anniversary of 13-year-old Ahmad Sharaka, who was killed by Israeli troops last year during clashes.
Apart from live rounds, the Israelis used rubber bullets and tear gas to break up the gathering. The wounded were taken to the Palestine Medical Center for treatment.
On Wednesday, a 10-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the town of Qararah near Khan Yunis. According to eyewitness, the Israeli forces shot the child from a military base.
The occupied territories have been the scene of heightened tensions since August 2015, when the Tel Aviv regime imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Some 250 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in what is regarded as the third Palestinian Intifada (uprising) since October 2015.