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Palestinian Visitors to Brighton Denied Visas

BTFSG | 15.06.2009 10:19 | Campaign against Carmel-Agrexco | Anti-militarism | Palestine | South Coast | World

Brighton Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group Press Release

Demonstration 5pm Today – Free Palestine, Boycott Israel

Four Palestinians from the Jordan Valley region of Palestine were due to visit the UK this week to spaeak to community groups about the Israeli occupation of their land. Last week the British embassy in Jordan denied Abu Sacca, the head of a farmer’s cooperative in the Northern Jordan Valley, on the basis that he was not deemed an expert on farming capable of giving talks and that the embassy had concerns that he would not leave the UK.

Brighton Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group (BTFSG) deplores the embassy’s actions. The embassy’s decision was clearly because Abu Sacca, as a poor bedouin farmer, could not demonstrate that he had savings. However BTFSG had pledged to pay all his costs during his stay in the UK and had arranged a week of talks and public meetings to groups across the country, including at the UNISON conference in Brighton.

Tom Hayes, of BTFSG said “the Palestinians have suffered under a brutal occupation since 1967. On top of this the British embassy insist on compounding their misery by denying them visas and thus denying them the opportunity to speak about their lives under occupation.”

One member of the group. Fathy Khdirat, has been granted a visa and will be speaking at a fringe meeting for the UNISON conference on Tuesday at 5.30pm at the Friend’s Meeting House in Ship Street in favour of the boycott Israel resolutions being tan=bled at the conference.

This evening members BTFSG are holding a picket of Waitrose in Western Road at 5pm calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. For more info call 07772197192


The Israeli State, since 1967, has gradually annexed the majority of the Jordan Valley (which is 28% of the West Bank) by expanding its illegal settlements and trying to drive Palestinians from their land through house demolitions, movement restrictions, curfews, arbitrary arrest and detention, land confiscations. Palestinians are denied access to water, electricity, health and education while Israeli settlers are given state subsidies to carry out industrial agriculture in the area.

Many Palestinians living in the valley work on Israeli settlements due to the occupations economic stranglehold on the area. These settlement workers are denied the right to form trade unions, receive no sick pay or holiday pay and are paid a fraction of the minimum wage. They work on land which has been annexed by the Israeli state for the benefit of the settlements. Many work for state agricultural company Carmel Agrexco, who export 60% of their produce to Europe.

Palestinian Civil Society organisations, including the Jordan Valley Solidarity Project, are calling for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until Israel ends the occupation and ceases her crimes against the Palestinians

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