In August Councillor Corinna Smart, Mayor of the London Borough of Hounslow and Honorary President of the Hounslow-Ramallah Twinning Association, wrote a letter to her counterpart Mr Mousa Hadid, Mayor of Ramallah, expressing sincere concern, sympathy and solidarity with the people of Palestine in the light of tragic ongoing events in Gaza.

Similar tragic events back in 2009, when the Hounslow-Ramallah twinning link was inactive, had passed without official comment from the Council and spurred a resident-led revival of the relationship.

Extracts from the Mayor of Hounslow’s letter are printed below.

“I felt a strong desire to write to you to let you know as your twinned city that we are thinking of you and can only imagine the plight you are experiencing at this present time…

I cannot begin to imagine how difficult life is for the people of Palestine at the moment, in particular those in Gaza. It is absolutely heart wrenching to watch and read about the terror, pain and suffering that they are going through day and night. The shelling of densely populated neighbourhoods, with the loss of so many people, especially women and children, is beyond comprehension. The human cost is just awful…

As a ceremonial Mayor I hold out the hand of friendship and sisterhood towards you and your people…

The Council also offers whatever direct support we can give too. Please do let us know and we will do all we can to help…

I speak on behalf of all Councillors and residents of the Borough of Hounslow we hope and pray that this conflict can be resolved as quickly as possible with long and everlasting peace…

Our hearts go out to you all.”