Richard Burden first British MP to visit post-withdrawal Gaza


2 days after Israeli troops left, Richard Burden MP, Chair of the Britain-Palestine All Party Group in Parliament, became the first British MP to visit Gaza. Mr Burden, who is on a short visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories, is being accompanied by Julia Wickham, the Director of Labour Middle East Council. Tomorrow he will meet with a number of Israeli spokespeople.

Richard Burden said:

“There is a real feeling of elation amongst Palestinians in Gaza. They are now able to carry out everyday things that most of us would take for granted, such as being able to travel between towns in the Gaza Strip without restrictions.

“This feeling is however tempered by a real concern that Gaza could be turned into a giant prison. Palestinians need to have realistic opportunities of trading, communicating and working with the outside world. The International Community needs to work hard to ensure that Israel puts these basic requirements into place and starts to withdraw from all of the Occupied Territories.

“If Israel believes that it is ‘Gaza first and Gaza last’ it will have squandered a real chance of achieving lasting peace.”

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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