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TSSA Conference ’18 Transport workers condemn Israel's massacre of Palestinian protesters

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes says Theresa May and the Tories are ‘complicit in what’s going on in Gaza’

TRANSPORT workers have unanimously condemned the massacre of Palestinian protesters in Gaza and Israel’s apologists for refusing to lay the blame at Israel’s door.

TSSA Euston branch delegate Sarah-Jane Potter, addressing the union’s national conference today, said that since the recent wave of protests began in March in the build-up to the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (“catastrophe,” when Palestinians were forced to flee their land in the violence surrounding the foundation the state of Israel), “Israeli forces have killed at least 120 Palestinians and wounded more than 12,000.”

She pointed out that the anniversary “coincided with the provocative decision by the US government to move its embassy to the illegally occupied Jerusalem” in “a calculated, premeditated act of aggression against the Palestinian people” by President Donald Trump.

She said the US president “may not have pulled the trigger himself — but that won’t wash the blood off his hands.”

Ms Potter argued that “Trump, Israel and its apologists have placed the blame on [Palestinian Islamist organisation] Hamas and away from the Israeli soldiers and their commanders who carried out the massacre” and she criticised the Labour Friends of Israel group, which “demanded that Hamas take full responsibility [with] not a word of criticism of the Israeli military.”

She said the group had “described the slaughter as a ‘tragic’ event and said all civilian deaths are ‘regrettable.’

“A force of nature would be a tragic event: these people did not die at the hands of a force of nature. ‘Regrettable’ would be appropriate if it was not for the fact that it was entirely preventable.”

Jerry Kennedy, from Belfast branch, asked conference: “Why do we continue killing ourselves? Why do we continue killing our children? I came from a society that did it for years.

“My brothers and sisters and the children in Palestine have suffered for years as the children in our country have suffered. We need to stop this now. We need to stand by and back the people of Palestine.”

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said Prime Minister Theresa May and the Tories were “complicit in what’s going on in Gaza,” adding: “What the state of Israel is doing in Gaza is a war crime, it’s a violation of international law.

“This is completely unjustified. Firing live rounds at people without weapons: it’s a crime, there’s no two ways about it, and the Israeli state and the leaders of Israel must be prosecuted for that crime.”

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