Preston MP Sir Mark Hendrick backs Free Palestine demonstration in city

Preston MP Sir Mark Hendrick has given his full backing to thousands of demonstrators who attended a Free Palestine rally in the city.

Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 12:21 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 4:21 pm

He could not attend the rally in Preston yesterday (Saturday), but sent a statement to be read out at the event.

And he vowed to continue to press the Government to help Palestinians live in peace.

Sir Mark said: "I am sorry that I cannot be here in person to attend this rally but make no mistake that I stand with you on the issue of Palestine which is under attack even as we speak.

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The Free Palestine march in Preston
The Free Palestine march in Preston

"All of this violence has stemmed from the forced evictions that were taking place in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem and also the attack on Al Aqsa Masjid during Ramadan.

"I am horrified at the indiscriminate nature of the attacks in Gaza where innocent civilians, including almost 60 children in Gaza, have been killed in one week alone. More than a thousand people in Gaza have been injured.

"This constant bombardment has damaged the infrastructure to the level that it will be incredibly difficult to get crucial supplies and medical treatment to those affected."

The Labour MP added: "Adults and children’s lives hang in the balance and I’m sure we can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to face the daily loss of life of the young and innocent, especially when we see our own children free to live, learn and play in peace.

Sir Mark Hendrick

"The international community must make a stand and use all available resources to stop the loss of life. I have already raised this with the Foreign Secretary asking him to join the call with the United Nations to uphold international law and an immediate end to the violence by withdrawing the IDF.

"I have also urged him to impose immediate and meaningful sanctions on the Israeli Government whilst the illegal actions and evictions are taking place."

Sir Mark said he had so far received around 1,300 emails calling for action and he would continue to pressure the Government into driving forward actions to bring peace to the Palestinian people.

Preston City Council leader Coun Matthew Brown tweeted: "Really privileged to join and speak at the peaceful event for the rights of the people in Palestine in Preston today.

"We must secure a peaceful and just solution for the region that brings equality for all and an end to all violence."

A Lancashire police spokesman said there were no arrests and the demonstration passed off without incident.

The spokesman added: "We liaised closely with organisers and local authority to facilitate peaceful protest."

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Thousands unite for 'Free Palestine' demonstration in Preston city centre