67. Palestine: 50 Years of Occupation

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June 16, 2017

Conference notes that 2017 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, the 10th anniversary of the siege of Gaza and the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. These events continue to have a devastating impact of the lives of 1.9 million people living under siege in Gaza, 2.7 million people in the illegally occupied West Bank and millions of refugees forced from their homes by the conflict.

In the last 50 years the illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem has intensified.  About 250 illegal settlements and outposts have been built housing at least 547,000 settlers on over 60 per cent of Palestinian land. Building has increased dramatically in recent years alongside the rapid demolition of Palestinian homes. In 2016 alone the Israeli government destroyed at least 1,089 Palestinian-owned structures in the West Bank.

For the last decade the Israeli government have blockaded access to Gaza by land, sea and air, creating a virtual prison in which fundamental human rights are denied. Almost half of households now suffer from food insecurity and only five per cent of water is drinkable. 42 per cent of the population are unemployed and many homes, schools and health facilities are yet to be rebuilt after the 2014 bombing campaign. Israel, as an occupying force, must lift the blockade immediately and comply with international law.

Conference welcomes United Nations resolution 2334 approved in December 2016 reiterating 10 previous resolutions, and reaffirming that Israel’s settlements have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of international law. However, the Israeli government’s hostility to the resolution simply confirms its longstanding opposition to a viable two state solution.

The resolution commits the United Nations to examine practical ways and means to secure the full implementation of its relevant resolutions. Conference reaffirms its support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), including a UN arms embargo on Israel and a ban on settlement goods as practical ways of persuading Israel to implement the relevant UN resolutions and end the occupation and the repression of the Palestinian people.

Conference welcomes the UK’s support for the resolution but is concerned by Prime Minister Theresa May’s damaging comments downplaying the impact of settlements. The Conservative government’s desire to develop a close relationship with the Trump White House should not be at the expense of Palestinian people’s rights.

Conference welcomes the establishment of the European Trade Union Initiative for Justice for Palestine and supports its efforts to bring together European and Palestinian unions to collaborate on campaigns to end the European Union and member states’ complicity with with Israeli violations of international law.

Conference believes that the Israeli government has deliberately attempted to close the door on any prospects of a two state solution, by colonising much of the land earmarked for a viable, independent Palestinian State. Conference reaffirms its support for the right of the Palestinian people to determine their own future through democratic means, and call on the international community to help facilitate a fair, political solution to the conflict based on the principles of democracy, human rights and international law.

Conference calls on the National Executive Council to:

  • Support the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Make It Right and other initiatives using the anniversaries of the occupation, blockade and Balfour to campaign for Palestinian rights;
  • Continue to campaign for the British government to recognise the Palestinian state and genuinely support the implementation United Nations resolution 2334 and other resolutions calling for an end to the Israeli occupation and supporting the right of the Palestinian people to self determination;
  • Support the European Trade Union Initiative for Justice for Palestine;
  • Encourage branches to support and affiliate to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Halton Local Government



In the eighth paragraph following “ Palestinian State.” add:

Conference also notes Israel’s attacks and those of its allies on the worldwide solidarity movement with Palestine including measures which seek to outlaw support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.

In the final paragraph, add the following additional sub-paragraphs:

“5.) To seek appropriate ways to defend the right to campaign for peace with justice for the Palestinian people, in particular, to challenge regulations which seek to restrict Local Government Pension Funds’ investment decisions and public bodies’ procurement policies;

6.) To continue to seek appropriate ways to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, both through its own purchasing etc. and that of branches and regions and also through the influence UNISON and its members can bring to bear on others’ purchasing and investment decisions;

7.) To give maximum support to a global day for Justice Now for the Palestinian People on Saturday 4th November 2017 arranged to coincide with the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.”

Wolverhampton General Branch



In point 1) after the word “initiatives” add the words: “including those that call for workers unity between workers of all faiths and nationalities in Israel/Palestine,”

South Derbyshire Healthcare