Make visa rules the same for Palestinians and Israelis.

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Israel has occupied the West Bank (and Gaza) for over fifty years. They are running it through fierce military rule and constantly expanding settlements which provide Israeli-only housing in new towns, built on Palestinian land in defiance of international law. Countries like the UK ask them to stop settlement expansion but this is not listened to. The Israelis are violating Palestinians' human rights in a systematic way while creating a parallel, privileged life for Israeli settlers. The difficulties that Palestinians experience is in the public domain - family separation, denial of travel, child imprisonment, the Separation Wall, military violence are just some of them. The systematic separation and imposition of differences on ethnic grounds can be compared to apartheid.

Meanwhile,  UKBA rules reproduce the apartheid system drawn in Palestine by the Israelis although these have no basis in international law. The UKBA  gives privileges to an Israeli living in a settlement on Abu Dis land (for example) but a difficult situation for the Palestinian living a mile away. The UKBA even makes a different system for Palestinians given Jerusalem residency by the Israelis and those given West Bank IDs.

We argue that while Israel holds on to Palestinian land and builds on it on defiance of International law, the UK should either treat Palestinians like Israelis (no visas needed for UK) or Israelis like Palestinians (long, expensive and complicated UK visa system). The aim should be to end the apartheid situation, and the UK should have no part in upholding it.



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