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Home Archive 15/August/2018 01:28 PM

Palestine mission to UK criticizes campaign against British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn


LONDON, August 15, 2018 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Mission to the United Kingdom strongly criticized on Wednesday the media and official campaign in the UK and Israel targeting British Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn for attending in 2014 a commemoration ceremony in Tunisia of dozens of Palestinians and Tunisians killed in an Israeli attack on the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters in Tunisia in October 1985.

“It was with dismay that I read the Daily Mail article published over the weekend about Jeremy Corbyn‘s presence at a Palestinian commemoration ceremony in 2014,” said Palestine ambassador to the UK Manuel Hassassian in a statement.

“This is annual ceremony which is held by Palestinians and Tunisians to mourn the dead of a blatant act of Israeli violence and aggression on the PLO headquarters in Tunisia on the 1st October 1985. It could be legitimately called an act of terror and state terrorism. The attack was vigorously condemned by the UN Security Council which voted in its favor 14-0. In the attack, 62 Palestinians and 12 Tunisians were killed.”

Hassassian lashed out at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a regular critic of Corbyn for his pro-Palestine stand.

“Benjamin Netanyahu‘s arrogant intervention into British politics is not surprising from someone who has always condoned Israeli state terror. Jeremy Corbyn, in contrast, has always stayed true to his humanist values in his courageous support human rights.”

Hassassian said the 2014 ceremony was attended by Mohammed Shtayyeh, a Palestinian Authority minister and leading economist, was one of the officials who accompanied the group of parliamentarians on their visit to the Palestinian national cemetery in Tunisia, where dozens of Palestinians are buried.

"We invited an international delegation to visit our cemetery in Tunisia. Since the Palestinians‘ forced displacement in 1948, the majority of our people sadly live and die as refugees, and we have national cemeteries throughout the Middle East. The visitors laid a simple wreath for the 62 Palestinian workers, including welfare and pension staff, cleaners, and maintenance staff who were killed in 1985 by a high tonnage bomb dropped by an Israeli fighter aircraft."

"Many Palestinians are buried in Tunis, as Palestinian refugees are routinely denied permission to be buried in their homeland and village of birth, near family or relatives".

At the ceremony, said Hassassian, “Mr. Corbyn stands with Palestinian Authority officials including Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh. He takes part in a ceremony of remembrance for those brutally killed.”

Corbyn, in the video below from the Daily Mail, explains the circumstances of his visit.

Hassassian added: “In 1974, the United Nations in Geneva, recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. At the cemetery, in addition to victims of the Israeli bombing, other PLO officials are buried. They themselves were recognized as the internationally legitimate political representatives of the Palestinian people and were working to evolve the Palestinian movement from one of armed struggle within a new political environment where Palestinians rights and grievances were being seriously addressed. Had they not been killed in 1991, they would most likely have been negotiating with Israel and other states on the road to Oslo and a peace settlement.”

The Palestinian ambassador said, “The Daily Mail article grossly and clumsily twists the truth, using tricks of association and frankly bad journalism to mislead the reader, to achieve its desired effect, that is, to dehumanize the Palestinians and de-value Palestinian life. Pro-Israeli media are using these kinds of tactics to stifle any criticism of Israel‘s present brutal policies against the Palestinians and its increasingly apparent status as an apartheid state.”


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