doc

AS the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel was set to enter its fourth day, Palestine-born Karimeh Foster said she hopes a peaceful resolution can be reached.

If not, the Darwen councillor has fears for the future of not just the region, but the whole world.

The Whitehall councillor, who moved to England in 1978 to marry her university sweetheart David, has been unable to return to her birthplace, Bethlehem, since just before the Six-Day War in 1967.

Then, Israel occupied the West Bank and a young Coun Foster and her family relocated to Jordan.

Speaking from her home in Derby Close, she said she longed for peace in Gaza, where more than 1,000 people have been killed in the latest conflict.

She said: “I want peace in Gaza. Everybody does. But it has to be on both sides, not just on Israel’s terms.

“I want the bombings to stop and for the siege to be removed and for the people of Gaza to be allowed to go about with dignity like any other human being.”

Coun Foster, a Lib Dem, said she was disappointed by the response to the troubles, not just at home, but worldwide.

She said: “I am really disappointed by the Government. Politicians are very cagey about what they say.

“Until the Israelis feel like they have something to lose they will not stop. It is a huge problem for the whole world, not just the Middle East.

“I feel people who have real power could stop this but they are just blind to it and they do not want to know.”

The recent military bombardment of Gaza has seen a network of tunnels, which Israel said had been constructed by Hamas militants to infiltrate Israeli territory, destroyed. The action has also seen some 425,000 people displaced.

Coun Foster said: “Hamas are seen as terrorists but they have been under blockade for eight years.

“They are vilified for digging tunnels but it is okay for the Israelis to have tanks and guns to kill people.

“To stop this you need to have all the Palestinians and Israelis together to talk and find a solution to the problem.”