UK trade unions must support the Palestinian people and assist them to establish their state in 2017!

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PALESTINE Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi told European diplomats on Tuesday that relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will be a disaster.

‘The relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will be disastrous and cause violence and instability throughout the region and beyond,’ Ashrawi said in a briefing for 22 European Union consul generals and representatives.

US President-elect Trump has openly expressed support for Israel’s annexation of occupied East Jerusalem and for its illegal settlements and intends to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Ashrawi urged all those who claim to support the two-state solution to immediately recognise the state of Palestine. She affirmed that in this dangerous situation the PLO was committed to forming a government of national unity with Hamas in order to oversee political elections, the reconstruction of Gaza and the reunification of Palestinian public institutions.

Meanwhile, two people were killed and several others were hospitalised on Wednesday after a pre-dawn raid to demolish homes into the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev region erupted into clashes, as Israeli forces used bullets, tear gas canisters, and stun grenades to violently suppress locals and supporters who had gathered to resist the demolitions.

A Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces after he allegedly carried out a car ramming attack on Israeli officers, leaving several injured, according to Israeli police. However, numerous eyewitness accounts said that the driver lost control of his vehicle after he was shot, causing him to crash into Israeli police, one of whom was killed.

Israeli Knesset member Taleb Abu Arar said that the police killed Abu Qian ‘in cold blood,’ Israeli news site Ynet quoted him as saying. ‘The police shot him for no reason. The claims that he tried to run over police are not true.’

Locals identified the slain Palestinian citizen of Israel as 47-year-old Yaqoub Moussa Abu al-Qian, a maths teacher at al-Salam High School in the nearby town of Hura. Knesset member Ayman Odeh and head of the Joint List, which represents parties led by Palestinians, was injured in the head and back. Initial reports said police were firing rubber-coated steel bullets.

A video which later emerged showed Odeh bleeding on the ground moments after he was shot. Odeh wrote in a statement on his Facebook page saying that ‘a crime was committed in Umm al-Hiran as hundreds of police members violently raided the village firing tear-gas bombs, stun grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets. Villagers, women, men, and children stood with their bare hands against the brutality and violence of the police.’

Hundreds of Israeli police arrived at Umm al-Hiran at around 5am to secure the area for Israeli authorities to carry out a demolition campaign in the village. However, all that has happened up to now is nothing to what will erupt after tomorrow’s inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of the USA, when he transfers the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to East Jerusalem, occupied since 1967 and which the Palestinians rightfully claim as their capital.

Trump’s decision will touch off an Israeli annexation drive to build a greater Israel over the bones of the Palestinian people, and will be opposed by a massive movement of the Palestinian people, led by both Hamas and the Fatah movement to defend the homes and the homeland of the Palestinian people.

Earlier this year, Tory PM May told the Conservative Friends of Israel how proud she was of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration under which the UK ruling class promised Palestine to the Zionist movement, creating the conditions for the Palestinian people to be turned into refugees.

The UK trade unions must condemn the Balfour Declaration, demand that the UK government apologise for it, and declare their 100% support for the Palestinian struggle. This means that workers and their trade unions must be ready to support the struggle for Palestine in any way that the Palestinian people require, in order to establish the Palestinian state in 2017 with Jerusalem as its capital.