Campaigner visits Palestine

Gill Knight with Palestinians during her visit
Gill Knight with Palestinians during her visit

A PEACE campaigner has returned from a three-month long trip to Palestine.

Gill Knight, of Priory Road, had an eventful visit when she swapped Hastings’ West Hill for the West Bank.

She stayed in the village of Deir Istiya with members of the International Women’s Peace Service, a group which works in solidarity with Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

She said she witnessed just how brutal the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, which has gone on for decades, can be when she took part in a demonstration against house demolitions.

Gill told the Observer: “Israel routinely destroys the homes of Palestinians when these dwellings have been built without building permits, which Israel generally doesn’t grant. During the demolition tear gas was used to clear a house and people later had to be treated for asphyxiation.”

The peace activist added she and others at one point tried to stop the destruction of a building by standing on its roof.

She said: “I visited many refugee camps in Palestine and witnessed the hardship caused by the Israeli occupation. The fortitude of the Palestinians who have been displaced in their own country is remarkable.

“The ongoing suffering of the families and children is continually ignored by the EU and Western governments who could stop this humanitarian disaster.”

The peace campaigner, from Hastings Against War, is giving a talk this evening (Friday) at the White Rock Hotel about her recent visit to Palestine.

There will also be slides from the trip and a short film screening.

Olive oil, glass and handicrafts from Palestine will also be available for sale. In addition to this there will be an exhibition of children’s art from Gaza. The event starts at 7.30pm.