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Mothers occupy Vancouver MP's office

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

MP Don Davies. (FILE PHOTO)

MP Don Davies. (FILE PHOTO)

About 20 women and children occupied federal New Democrat Member of Parliament Don Davies’ office Tuesday to protest his party’s recent statements on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

The group entered the office Tuesday morning and said they intended to stay until Davies spoke to them, but that he and his staff were being “evasive.”

“They seem to be saying he’s on vacation and we can’t speak to him on the telephone, but they’ve been talking to him on the telephone,” said group representative Martha Roberts. “I think they’re trying to work out a plan.”

Violence in Israel and Gaza has exploded in recent weeks with rocket attacks coming out of Palestinian areas into Israel, and air assaults and a military ground offensive from Israel.

According to Reuters, an estimated 1,867 Palestinians have lost their lives while about 67 people in Israel have been killed.

Roberts said children at Davies office were wearing patches with the names of children killed during the conflict.

“My children understand why I’m here today,” Roberts said.

Some in the New Democrats have accused leader Thomas Mulcair of “silencing” criticism of Israel during the conflict and slammed him for saying the country “has the right to defend itself.”

Tuesday the party sent an unsolicited statement to media pointing to praise it received from Muslim organizations for its handling of the issue.

“Since the beginning of this conflict, we have been deeply concerned about the impact of the conflict on civilians,” it read. “Our statements on the issue have been balanced and reflected our deep concern with the humanitarian situation in the region, particularly in Gaza.”


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