'I wouldn’t wish this on anyone' - a Palestinian activist speaks out
By Issa Amro, a Palestinian activist and founder/coordinator of the Youth Against Settlements (YAS) group
For five decades, Palestinians like myself have been persecuted in ways I would never wish upon anyone.
We’ve been thrown out of our homes, locked up, tortured and killed – all to make way for more illegal Israeli settlements.
We’ve been told whether we can go to work, where we’re allowed to go to school, what roads we can walk down – and even if we can access clean water.
This is the kind of oppression we face every single day. And the UK government is doing little to stop it.
A relentless land-grab
In the last 50 years, 50,000 Palestinian homes and structures have been demolished to make way for over half a million Israelis to settle in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). This relentless land-grab is illegal according to international law.
What’s more, the trade that thrives in the OPT is part of the problem that allows this situation to continue – and that very trade produces goods that frequently make their way into the UK market for people to buy. Goods like fresh fruit, electronics and cosmetics.
That’s why today, on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I’m asking you to take action. Please urge the UK government to do more – sign Amnesty’s petition demanding that they ban Israeli settlement goods.
Taking action for future generations
For years I have been battling to right the wrongs that my people have suffered, but the problem persists. In fact I – a Palestinian human rights activist who is back in an Israeli court once again next month for my peaceful protests – have been doing this for most of my life. Many more have been fighting before I was even born, but I don’t want future generations to have to do the same.
The UK already agrees that Israel has illegally occupied Palestinian land, so it makes perfect sense for it to not support the trade in these areas. Israeli settlement goods are a part of the problem that the UK could easily play a role in resolving by simply banning them – please, tell them to do so now:
Follow Issa on Twitter, and find out more about the situation between Israelis and Palestinians here.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.