Lloyds TSB contributes to humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza Strip
Lloyds TSB severs links with Interpal, a charity that provides relief and aid to Palestinians.
Interpal, a non-political, non-profit making British charity that provides relief and development aid to Palestinians in need, is being forced to close by Lloyds TSB. It operates mainly in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. It has never been tried of any wrongful act or found guilty of any irregularities.
As banks across the Gaza Strip close because of lack of money as a result of the current Israeli blockade, and the population struggles to survive acute shortages of food, electricity, money and clean water, Lloyds TSB faces increased protests and direct action for its looming closure of Interpal.
On November 12, Interpal received notification from their bank, the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), that Lloyds TSB (their clearing bank) had served notice on IBB to cease all dealings with Interpal. Clearing banks are responsible for the processing of all financial transactions. The notice came into effect on the 8th December 2008, after which date all transactions into or out of Interpal accounts were blocked. IBB is at further risk of all its customer payments being suspended. No reason was given for the action.
Lloyds TSB Chairman, Sir Victor Blank, is a governor of Tel Aviv University, Chair of the Union of Jewish Students/Hillel, a member of the Advisory Board of the United Jewish Israel Appeal and is involved in Labour Friends of Israel. One Lloyds TSB director, Sir David Manning, is an ex-ambassador to both Israel and the USA and was Foreign Policy Adviser to Tony Blair during the planning for the invasion of Iraq. According to the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, “by hitting Interpal’s banking facilities, Lloyds TSB aims to support Israel by shutting off the trickle of aid that Interpal has managed to get into occupied Palestine over the years of Israel’s brutal siege”.
On the 14th November the Guardian reported that the UN agency for Palestinian refugees had been forced to cease food aid distribution in Gaza, which previously fed approximately 70% of the population, because Israel blocked humanitarian supplies. This week, Israel stated its intention to ease the blockade, but on Friday the Maan News Agency reported that only a fraction of the 110 trucks of goods slated for entry into the strip were permitted to unload their cargo. Head of the coordination committee responsible for goods entering Gaza, Raed Fattuh, estimated that Gaza needs 600-700 truckloads of goods per day to get the standard of living up to where it was before the current siege, which began at the start of November.
Interpal has drafted letters that their supporters may post to Lloyds TSB, the Prime Minister and the Bank of England. These are available to download from the SPSC website.
SPSC are also calling on people to organise protests outside their local branches of Lloyds TSB and to urge their MPs to sign the Early Day Motion regarding Lloyds TSB Plc and British Charities.
Links: www.scottishpsc.org; www.maannews.net; www.interpal.info
1 comment(s) so far...
By John Bentley on
Re: Lloyds TSB contributes to humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza Strip
This disgraceful action by Lloyds is just another example how the Israeli octopus extends its tentacles to destroy innocent Palestinians in Gaza.
As now a virtually nationalised bank the British Government should instruct Lloyds to cease from this action immediately. We should be helping the people of Gaza not making their lives unbearable.