Wearing the traditional Palestinian “kefiya” head scarf, two Balearic ministers mounted a protest over Israeli aggression in the local parliament yesterday. The ministers for labour and the environment, Eberhard Grosske and Margalida Rosselló, sat through yesterday's parliamentary session sporting the head scarves while United Left MP from Ibiza, Miquel Ramón, wrapped a scarf around his shoulders, despite protest from the opposition Partido Popular. Grosske said that the three politicians wanted to make a “symbolic protest” over the “genocide” being carried out by the Israelis in Palestine. “We can't ignore that innocent people are dying,” Grosske said, adding that what the Israelis are doing breaks international law. Grosske called on all public institutions to speak out in favour of a Palestinian state, voicing “our solidarity for Palestine and hope that the violence does not escalate any further.” A number of MP's also placed placards calling for an “end to genocide” on top of their desks, provoking criticism from the PP which called on the left-wing coalition to also denounce the Palestinian suicide bombers who have also killed “innocent” people in Israel. Also yesterday morning a number of people gathered in protest outside the central government delegation to the Balearics, calling for “freedom for the state of Palestine.” The demonstration was organised by the Balearic movement for democracy and social globalisation. The protesters handed over a letter to Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar urging the Prime Minister, along with the international community, in particular Europe, the United States and the Arab world, to take a more active role to stop “this irrational, unfair, cruel and bloody conflict.” The movement also called for an end to Israeli occupation, the lifting on all restrictions placed on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and a return to the negotiating table “which is the only way in which fair and long lasting peace can be achieved.” “We ask that Spain and the European Union recognise as soon as possible an independent and democratic Palestinian state,” the movement said to Aznar in its letter. The movement also called for Israeli President Ariel Sharon to be charged for crimes against Humanity - the letter was also signed by the CC.OO and UGT unions, the PSOE socialist party and the United Left party - of which Grosske is the leader.

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