Euro MP sees Middle East crisis

PUBLISHED: 12:39 08 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:40 11 May 2010

Richard Howitt

Richard Howitt

EURO MP Richard Howitt had to escape rocket attacks and came face-to-face with armed terrorists during a visit to the Middle East. Mr Howitt - one of seven Euro MPs representing the east of England - was a member of a delegation from Brussels which went

EURO MP Richard Howitt had to escape rocket attacks and came face-to-face with armed terrorists during a visit to the Middle East.

Mr Howitt - one of seven Euro MPs representing the east of England - was a member of a delegation from Brussels which went on the fact-finding tour.

Talking about conditions in the besieged Gaza Strip, Mr Howlett said the area was living in "medieval times".

"Untreated sewage has turned the air noxious and the water was filthy brown," he said. "Inadequate food aid means the people are slowly starving."

Mr Howitt said one of the most "harrowing" scenes was at a hospital which had run out of medicines. "They didn't even have the materials to bury the dead," he said.

While visiting the hospital Mr Howitt met a youngster, Abdullah Al-Nahat, who had been denied permission by the Israelis to travel across the border to get specialised treatment for the severe kidney damage from which he was suffering.

"A state of siege can surely never be justified when a seven-year-old boy is denied treatment that would save his life and is instead called a security risk," said Mr Howitt.

Returning to Israel, 11 terrorist rockets exploded 10 minutes ahead of the vehicle in which Mr Howitt was travelling.

"It graphically demonstrated how terrorism and military reprisal are spiralling out of control with innocent civilians left the victims on both sides," he said.

Mr Howitt added: "I passionately hope that current peace talks succeed, but this state of siege must be ended to save lives now."

Picture: RICHARD HOWITT

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