UK MPs To Vote On Recognition Of Palestine
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A leading Palestinian politician has urged British MPs to vote in favour of recognising a Palestinian state when the issue is debated in Westminster later today.
In reference to the growing influence of groups like Islamic State, she said: "The Palestinian question has always been appropriated by others, and I've always said we need to rescue it from being 'up for grabs' by those looking for a cause, or who are trying to borrow our constituency or our legitimacy.
"It is imperative we remove one core issue from the region that has constantly fed… and send a clear message to the whole region and the rest of the world that justice can prevail and that we can make peace."
The debate in the House of Commons has been tabled by MP Grahame Morris, chair of the Labour Friends of Palestine.
"Not only is statehood the inalienable right of the Palestinian people, but recognising Palestine will breathe new life into a peace process that is at an impasse," Mr Morris told Reuters.
The Westminster vote will not be binding on the UK Government and is unlikely to change official policy, which states recognition of a Palestinian state must follow a bilateral negotiated process with Israel.
However, Dr Ashrawi said it was nonetheless "a very significant moment".
She said: "It is the beginning of a process of genuine consideration of the historical responsibility of the British towards Palestine, dating back to 1917, and we believe this process of rectification has to start.
"It is about time … not just as a way of doing justice to Palestine and respecting international law, but as a way of trying to rescue the chances of peace, which are disappearing rapidly."
The debate comes after Sweden's new government said it intended to officially recognise Palestine, a move that has...READ MORE