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Shock at injury to Knesset member defending Bedouin village from demolition

04 August, 2010

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign has expressed shock at today's hospitalisation of a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, who spoke in the House of Commons exactly a week ago.

Talab El-Sana, who is of Bedouin origin, was injured and briefly lost consciousness as he tried to defend the demolition of a makeshift Bedouin village by Israeli police.

The original village of Al Araqib , in the Negev Desert , was destroyed in a dawn raid by thousands of Israeli police on 27 July, leaving 300 residents, 200 of them children, homeless.

Residents tried to rebuild the village today, using tents. Mr El-Sana, the longest-serving Palestinian MP in the Knesset, was injured as police attempted to drag him from one of the tents.

Sarah Colborne , director of campaigns and operations at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK), said: ‘Just last week, Mr El-Sana was speaking to 300 people in the House of Commons about the systematic discrimination used by the state of Israel against 20% of its citizens - the Palestinians – and how this legalised discrimination renders void Israel's claims to be a democracy.

‘Now, just a week later, his words are graphically illustrated for the whole world to see, with the second destruction of Al Araqib by the Israeli police.'

Ms Colborne added: ‘It's shocking that a member of Parliament should be injured and end up in hospital for trying to protect his constituents and defend democracy, but that, unfortunately, is the nature of the Israeli state. Democracy in Israel only exists for some, not all, citizens.'

Speaking in the House of Commons on 28 July, in a meeting organised by PSC and Middle East Monitor, Mr El-Sana said: ‘ We want to live with everyone on the basis of respect and equality. We don't hate anyone, but we despise oppression and inequality, and therefore we demand equality for all.'

Media contact: Sarah Colborne

                           T: 020 7700 6192

                           E: sarah.colborne@palestinecampaign.org

Note to Editors

  • Al Araqib is one of 45 Bedouin villages in the Negev Desert . Israel refuses to recognise the villages, which have been in existence pre-1948, and refuses to supply them with basic facilities, including electricity, running water or schools, despite collecting taxes from them. The villages are home to nearly 200,000 people.
  • In June, the Knesset stripped Haneen Zoabi, another of its Palestinian MPs, of her Parliamentary privileges for taking part in the aid flotilla to Gaza . She was physically attacked by other Knesset members on her return to the Parliament following her release from an Israeli prison, where she had been held for three days with other flotilla members.

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The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seek to bring pressure on both the British and Israeli government to bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK . Join PSC today!

Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Box BM PSA
London
WC1N 3XX

Tel:   020 7700 6192
Fax:  020 7609 7779

Email: info@palestinecampaign.org

Web: www.palestinecampaign.org