Dewsbury councillor resigns over Labour's stance on Israel-Hamas conflict

A Dewsbury councillor has resigned from the Labour party over its stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
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Coun Ammar Anwar, who is a ward councillor for Dewsbury West, gave a tearful speech as he announced he was leaving the party at last night’s Kirklees Council meeting.

The full council meeting had been discussing a motion put forward by Kirklees’ Green group, with amendments from Labour and the Lib Dems, calling for the council to petition the Government to vote for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza at the UN.

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Coun Anwar said: “For the past 100 plus days, Israel has subjected Gaza to what has been described as one of the heaviest conventional bombing campaigns in the history of modern warfare.

CounAnwar speaking at the meeting tonight.CounAnwar speaking at the meeting tonight.
CounAnwar speaking at the meeting tonight.

"Palestinians in Gaza are being killed by Israeli weaponry and bombs from air, land and sea. They are also at immediate risk of death by starvation, dehydration and disease.”

He proceeded to outline some examples of statistics from UN sources, and said that 25,210 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the last three months, and at least 70 per cent are believed to be women and children.

He continued: “These killings are nothing short of destruction of Palestinian life. It is inflicted deliberately. No one is spared, not even newborn babies.

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"The scale of Palestinian children being killed in Gaza is such that the UN chiefs have described it as a graveyard for children.

“As I came home yesterday, my five-year-old daughter who was watching the news the previous night with me, saw images of what was going on in Gaza.

"She said to me, ‘Dad, what have you done about the videos you were watching?’ That absolutely broke me.

“I have been an active member and supporter of the Labour Party all my life, since the age of 14. I believe in its views and principles, but unfortunately under the current leadership, the Labour Party has let me down.

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"It’s with a heavy heart that I leave the party I always loved and I believe I might rejoin in the future if its leadership is changed and the view on Palestine and places like Kashmir and Ukraine have been made.

“The decision was made by the residents that elected me in Dewsbury West. It’s not a light decision I’ve taken today.”