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Time for the EU to stand up to Israel on settlements

The European Union may be the one institution capable of forcing Israel's hand on settlement construction, one reader argues. Other letters discuss Illegal housing, unsightly plastic bottles, and the death of a young military officer.

The Israeli government's continued contempt for international law is a matter that should now bring about direct action from the European Union.

The illegal settlement of Israeli citizens in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and in East Jerusalem is condemned by virtually the whole community of nations. Yet it continues.

The solution lies in the EU suspending bilateral trade with the Israeli state under the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which gives free access to all 27 EU member markets to this non-European member.

Without EU trade the Israeli economy would be unable to sustain the illegal blockade of Gaza or the settlements that continue to be built. It is now time for the EU to act in the name of world peace and international law.

John Kidd, London

Illegal housing for workers shameful

In reference to your news article Warehouse in fatal fire was illegal labour camp (August 12), this is a catastrophe, and there are many more such instances where buildings in Dubai have been divided, giving inadequate fire protection.

The authorities should act and enforce statutory requirements before we have any more such incidents.

Rents are now low enough, to be affordable by all. There is no need for lives to be put in danger.

Ahmet Kianin, Dubai

Think before you drink, from plastic

During Ramadan, the sight of a cool bottle of water is rejuvenating. And it's a life saver in these temperatures. But do we need all that plastic?

I asked myself this during a recent journey to Abu Dhabi. I was following a pick-up van that was driving slowly due to its heavy load of empty bottles.

It was carrying plastic bottles neatly packed in more plastic, burning in 50¿C temperatures in an open van. It seemed like such a waste.

The Dubai Municipality claims tap water is safe to drink if the building pipes are in good condition, and as long as water tanks are cleaned regularly. 

After that journey, I have stopped drinking water from plastic bottles. Instead I've bought glass bottles, fill them with tap water and put them in the fridge to chill.

Now I am much more confident about the "journey" of water from production to my stomach.

While consumers in the UAE use many plastic bottles a day, the whole world is going in the opposite direction.

Kanwar Hayat, Dubai

A tough walk at the world's roof

Congratulations to Hala and Hassan on their recent trek through Nepal (On top of the world with Mum, August 12). Seventy kilometres on a hilly track is no joke.

I grew up near the Karakoram range in the northern area of Pakistan. I walked seven to 10 kilometres to school each day. I know how much different these mountains are from the comforts of present-day Dubai.

So Hassan should be proud of his mother and mentor for motivating and supporting him in this task.

Abdulaziz Ansari, Dubai

A lovable man is laid to rest in RAK

It's really impressive to see all these people attending the funeral of the young UAE military officer Capt Salem Saif Al Mazroui (Teenager held for murder of UAE man in Texas Robbery, August 12). Attendance at his funeral makes us know that he must been a very good and lovable person. May his soul rest in peace and may God help his family.

Eman Humaid, Dubai

Condolences to the family of Capt Salem Saif Al Mazroui. God bless you.

Name and address withheld

UK looters have a friend in Tehran

If Mr Ahmadinejad feels so badly for the looters in England (Iran gloats over English riots, chastises politicians, August 11), perhaps he would like to invite them to go and live in Iran.

I'm sure they will all be very happy together, seeing as how the former is so big on human rights and the latter are so hard done by.

MRB, Dubai

Play more football to build loyal fans

Who cares if some teams are not competitors as long as it's more then 22 games (Quality not quantity is the solution for Pro League, June 2).

In fact the Pro League should copy the Swiss League model of a whopping 44 games.

I'm pretty sure the quality will improve if that happens.

Abdulla Al Fadhli, Abu Dhabi

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