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GORDON HENDERSON MP

FOR SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY

Gordon visits hotspots

Local Tory parliamentary candidate, Gordon Henderson, was part of a Conservative fact finding mission that last week went to one of the World’s political hotspots to meet with representatives of the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority.

The privately funded delegation, which was led by Greg Clark (MP for Tunbridge Wells and shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change), visited a number of politically sensitive sites including the Al-Amari Palestinian refugee camp in Ramallah.

Mr Henderson explained:

“In Ramallah we met with the Palestinian Minister of National Economy, Bassim Khoury Nasr, and having already met a number of Israeli ministers it was interesting to hear the opposing view of the political situation in the region.

“We also visited the Al-Amari refugee camp and met with local Palestinian youth leaders who gave us an insight into the difficulties faced by people who have been born and raised in camps set up over sixty years ago.”

Later in the week the group visited the Rafiah border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip and Sderot, an Israeli town close to the Gaza border, whose residents live in constant fear of rocket attack.

Mr Henderson said:

“Since Hamas seized control of the strip in June 2007 the Israelis have intensified the blockade of Gaza to try to isolate Hamas and pressurize the militants into stopping the shelling of Israeli towns, such as Sderot.

“We wanted to see if humanitarian aid was actually getting through to the innocent Palestinians who are being affected by the conflict. Having seen with my own eyes the number of lorry loads of essential supplies being allowed across the border I am somewhat reassured.

“We then visited Sderot where I saw at first hand the threat that local residents face from rocket and mortar attack. The number of missiles fired at Sderot has quadrupled since Hamas came to power two year ago.”

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