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British TUC passes motion supporting right of return for Palestine

Palestinians stage a protest against US decision to cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in front of Beit Hanoun border gate in Gaza City, Gaza on 4 September, 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]
Britain’s trade union movement has voted to support the right of return for the Palestinian people.

Delegates at the Trades Union Congress in Brighton voted to oppose any “proposed solution” in the conflict that is not “based on international law and UN resolutions recognising their collective rights to self-determination and to return to their homes.”

The motion also called for unions to “raise the pressure” on corporations and arms traders who are complicit in human rights abuses in Israel and Palestine.

Artists’ Union of England delegate Martin Sundram said: “At the moment we’re looking at a people lacking the control that allows them to function as a society — water, the freedom to travel, the basic right to safety.

“What we’re defending in this motion is not just the right to self-determination for the Palestinian people, but the rule of law itself.”

Unite executive council member Philippa Marsden said: “Besieged and blockaded from all sides, the Gaza Strip remains the world’s largest prison.

“But increasing numbers of annexations and the building of illegal settlements has built a string of mini Gazas across the country.

“All of us here must redouble our efforts to build solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

On behalf of the TUC general council, GMB general secretary Tim Roache said: “We oppose the recent US policy of withdrawing much-needed aid from the United Nations Work and Relief Agency in Palestine.

“This is particularly concerning given that, in recent years, it has been reported that Gaza was on track to become unlivable by 2020.

“We recognise calls by UN officials to halt further demolitions, and concerns expressed by further settlements.”

_Palestine Responds.

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