Scottish MP tables motion pressing Israel on treatment of Bedouin

Scottish MP tables motion pressing Israel on treatment of Bedouin

SNP's Philippa Whitford criticises the Jewish state for revoking citizenship of Bedouin, urging the UK to act

Dr Philippa Whitford
Dr Philippa Whitford

The Scottish Government’s health spokesperson in Westminster has issued an Early Day Motion in Parliament urging the UK Government to press Israel to end “discrimination” against Bedouin in the Negev.

Scottish National Party MP Philippa Whitford, a former surgeon who spent a year working in Gaza, instigated the motion, saying: “This House recognises the injustice faced by hundreds of Negev Bedouin who have had their Israeli citizenship revoked without adequate explanation or warning.”

She said that the Bedouin had had their citizenship revoked “due to claims that their original citizenship was issued in error,” and said this was “a policy to remove the legitimate citizenship rights of the Bedouin and leave them stateless”.

The Motion notes the “considerable barriers to re-obtaining citizenship, once lost, including cost, time, extensive documentation and language requirements” and called on the Government “to put pressure on the Israeli Government to end this discriminatory policy”.

Last week Middle East Minister Alistair Burt said: “The Government is gravely concerned by proposals to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al Ahmar.”

Officials from the UK’s Consulate-General in Jerusalem have visited the village several times in recent years and plan to visit again before the next court hearing to decide the village’s fate.

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