Labour councillors have today backed a public petition to recognise Palestine as sovereign state.
The petition was signed by nearly seven hundred Sheffield residents and called for Sheffield City Council to “Recognise Palestine as a Sovereign State, as part of the United Nations, and to Pass a Motion to this Effect”.
Speaking in direct response to the petitioners, Council Deputy Leader Olivia Blake said:
“My own belief is that there must be recognition of the rights of Palestinians to their own sovereign state.
“This recognition of Palestine as a state is one step towards a genuine two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. There has to be a peace process, and there has to be a right of the Palestinian people to live in peace, as well as the right of Israel.
“This why I can today announce that this council’s Labour administration will table a motion for Councillors to vote on whether to recognise Palestine as Sovereign state.
“This is because Labour believes that all councillors should have the opportunity to speak and vote on this important issue.
“Sheffield is just one city – but we can make this symbolic gesture to formally recognise Palestine as a sovereign state and hope to put pressure on the UK government to do likewise.
“It is my hope that we can take this action and become the first UK council to recognise Palestine”.