Council to discuss Palestinian twinning link

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PLANS to create a formal twinning link between Pendle and a small town in Palestine will be considered by Pendle Council at its full meeting on Tuesday evening.

The aim is to try and cut horrors between Palestine and Israel, and the town involved is called Beit Leed.

The idea has been put forward by Mr Richard MacSween from the Pendle for Palestine Twinning Group. In a letter to the council, he said: “We urge you to support this resolution. Beit Leed is a small town of about 7,000 people in the north of the West Bank.

“Our group has had an informal twinning arrangement since 2006 when three people from Beit Leed visited Pendle. They were received by the Mayor of Pendle and welcomed by a full council meeting.

“Visits in both directions have happened several times since then, and those of us who have been to Beit Leed have been given a very warm welcome and shown enormous hospitality. More than anything, the Palestinians would like to know that they have not been forgotten by the West which too often seems to be on the side of the occupying state of Israel.”

And he added: “The recent rally in Nelson, on November 25th, with around 300 people showing their support for Gaza, is an indication that, locally, there is considerable sympathy for the Palestinian people in their desire for statehood and justice.

“More generally, there seems to be evidence that the British people as a whole object to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the building of settlements in the West Bank and the construction of the separation wall.”

And he concluded: “In this context we believe that a friendship link between Pendle and Beit Leed would be welcomed by the majority of the people of Pendle and we hope you will support the resolution.”

On Tuesday, a motion will be put forward by Labour Group leader Coun. Mohammed Iqbal.

It says: “The Palestinian people have suffered over many decades from Israel and extremists within who have not allowed a two-state solution. The recent attacks from Israel resulted in the killing of innocent Palestinian men, women and children.”

The motion comes up with a whole series of thinks the council should resolve. They include condemnation of the Israeli Government plans to build illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land and congratulations regarding the recent campaign in Nelson.

The plan is also to ask Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson to continue his efforts in securing a peace deal between Israel and Palestine.

And it concludes: “Sign a formal twinning agreement with Beit Leed in the West Bank this municipal year and by doing so show its solidarity with the Palestinian people.”