The above is the audio-video commissioned from myself by Emma Rushton and Derek Tyman as part of their Flaghall installation in the Where Do I End and You Begin exhibition in the City Arts Centre, Edinburgh 1 August-19 October 2014 as part of the Edinburgh Arts Festival. (Click on ‘Vimeo’ and watch full screen for best effect).The exhibition features work by artists from across the Commonwealth exploring and interrogating the ideas, ideals and myths that underpin notions of community, common-wealth and the commons. This audio-video lecture explores these themes in the context of Scotland and the British Empire and invites the viewer to consider how we can reverse centuries of colonialism and ideas of exclusive possession and move toward a world in which our common-wealth is reconstituted and governed for the wellbeing of all.
The Commonweal is an old Scots term meaning “wealth shared in common for the wellbeing of all”
In 1884 the Earl of Rosebery visits Australia and asks, “Does the fact of your being a nation… imply separation from the Empire? God forbid! There is no need for any new nation, however great, leaving the Empire, because the Empire is a Commonwealth of Nations“.
On the 22nd of August 1770, at Possession Island off the north coast of Australia, Captain Cook writes in his journal, “I now once more hoisted English colours and in the Name of His Majesty King George the Third, took possession of the whole Eastern Coast .. together with all the bays, harbours, rivers and islands.”
In 1949, the people of Alyth in Perthshire, Scotland march to the top of the Hill of Alyth to destroy the fences that have been built to enclose their common land.
In 1955, the UK government decides to annex Rockall – a small rock in the North Atlantic around 187 miles west of St Kilda. Captain Connell of HMS Vidal is given the following order by the Queen. “On arrival at Rockall you will effect a landing and hoist the Union flag on whatever spot appears most suitable or practicable and you will then take possession of the island on our behalf.”
In May 1982, Eddie Mabo, on behalf of the Meriam people from the Mer Island in the Torres Strait off the north coast of Australia launches a legal action challenging the claim of the Crown to ownership of his land.
On the 3 June 1992, by a majority of six to one, the High Court upholds the claim of the Meriam people and overturns the legal fiction that the land of Australia was ‘terra nullius’ before colonisation.
Ruth works for Community Land Scotland although she writes here in a personal capacity. During the summer of 2009, she spent six weeks volunteering at the Tent of Nations farm in the West Bank, Palestine.
“We refuse to be enemies” is the sentiment upon which the Tent of Nations project in Palestine is built. Painted on a stone which greets every visitor to the Nassar family farm, where the project is based, the phrase encaptures the deep sense of humanity, resolution and faith which emanates from the 100 acres of land and the family who own it.
At 8am on Monday 19th May 2014, Israeli Defense Force (IDF) bulldozers arrived unannounced – presumably rolling past the Nassar’s defiant welcoming statement – and proceeded to destroy between 1,500 and 2,000 mature, fruit-bearing apricot trees, apple trees and grape vines in the lower valley of the farm.
Resting on a hill six miles southwest of Bethlehem in the Occupied Territories of Palestine (the West Bank), the Nassar family hold registration papers for this land dating back to the Ottoman Empire. For over 20 years now, the family have been fighting a legal battle to prove their ownership of the land. For over 20 years they have been challenged by knock-backs, obstacles and violent provocations. The attack at the beginning of last week comes while their latest case for proving ownership has been in the Israeli Military/Civil Courts since February 2013.
Image: The valley before and after the bulldozers arrived.
In 2001 the Nassars set up the Tent of Nations peace project on their farm; a project committed to building intercultural cooperation and understanding; to promoting dialogue and non-violence and to highlighting the connection between people and land. As a volunteer in 2009 (planting and harvesting many of the trees now destroyed), I was struck by the family’s steadfast resolve to remain on their farm despite the pressure to have it evacuated and claimed as Israeli State Land. I noted in a blog during my time there the “shuwe, shuwe” (“slowly, slowly”) attitude to the Nassar’s work; commenting that it “sums up their calm, thoughtful and sustained approach to dealing with an intense and emotional situation.” Such an approach couldn’t be more necessary now as they cope with this latest act of oppression; as ever – they are rising to the occasion with dignity and hope.
In addition to the destruction of the trees, the terraced land on which the trees were planted was also destroyed and left in a state of rubble which cannot currently be re-planted. Having generated income from the fruit of the mature trees, the family are faced with an attack on their livelihood as well as their property. As advised by their lawyer, the Nassars are now appealing for compensation; critically, they are also appealing to have the demolition orders which remain on the tents, compost toilets & other structures on the farm removed. They have asked for international awareness to be raised and for the international community to support their case and to understand that the injustices they face are representative of the oppression faced by the wider Palestinian population.
If you’d like to take action to support the Nassar family and hold the Israeli Military and Government to account for its actions, please write to your MP using this standard letter – doc and rtf.
The Guidelines have been endorsed by Governments around the world and were most recently supported by the 2013 G8 Summit in Lough Erne and featured in Sections 43-45 of the G8 Communique. The UK Government is actively following the Guidelines in relation to its overseas development programmes as highlighted in its 2013 G8 Presidency Report (pg14). The map below shows the countries where the UK is engaged in land governance projects. See the Land Governance Programme Map for further information.
As stated in the Preface,
The purpose of these Voluntary Guidelines is to serve as a reference and to provide guidance to improve the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests with the overarching goal of achieving food security for all and to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.
These Guidelines are intended to contribute to the global and national efforts towards the eradication of hunger and poverty, based on the principles of sustainable development and with the recognition of the centrality of land to development by promoting secure tenure rights and equitable access to land, fisheries and forests.
One of the most interesting thing about the Guidelines is that they are global in scope. For too long, many so-called developed countries have developed policies and guidelines which they enthusiastically promote in other countries but when asked whether such practices are adopted at home, they look sheepish. Twenty years ago I remember engaging the UK representative at a UN meeting about the millions of pounds being given to promote the transfer of control of state forests to local communities in the Highlands of Nepal when, at the same time, the Scottish Office was in open opposition to any such efforts in Scotland. So, it is welcome to read that,
Taking into consideration the national context, they may be used by all countries and regions at all stages of economic development and for the governance of all forms of tenure, including public, private, communal, collective, indigenous and customary. (2.4)
11.2 ……..States should take measures to prevent undesirable impacts on local communities, indigenous peoples and vulnerable groups that may arise from, inter alia, land speculation, land concentration and abuse of customary forms of tenure. States and other parties should recognize that values, such as social, cultural and environmental values, are not always well served by unregulated markets. States should protect the wider interests of societies through appropriate policies and laws on tenure.
14.1 Where appropriate, considering their national context, States should consider providing restitution for the loss of legitimate tenure rights to land, fisheries and forests. States should ensure that all actions are consistent with their existing obligations under national and international law, and with due regard to voluntary commitments under applicable regional and international instruments. 14.2 Where possible, the original parcels or holdings should be returned to those who suffered the loss, or their heirs, by resolution of the competent national authorities. Where the original parcel or holding cannot be returned, States should provide prompt and just compensation in the form of money and/or alternative parcels or holdings, ensuring equitable treatment of all affected people.
15. Redistributive reforms
15.1 Redistributive reforms can facilitate broad and equitable access to land and inclusive rural development. In this regard, where appropriate under national contexts, States may consider allocation of public land, voluntary and market based mechanisms as well as expropriation of private land, fisheries or forests for a public purpose.
15.2 States may consider land ceilings as a policy option in the context of implementing redistributive reforms.
15.3 In the national context and in accordance with national law and legislation, redistributive reforms may be considered for social, economic and environmental reasons, among others, where a high degree of ownership concentration is combined with a significant level of rural poverty attributable to lack of access to land, fisheries and forests respecting, in line with the provisions of Section 15, the rights of all legitimate tenure holders. Redistributive reforms should guarantee equal access of men and women to land, fisheries and forests.
I look forward to seeing what the Land Reform Review Group (due to publish its findings next week) makes of this important international agreement and whether the Scottish Government intends to join the long list of administrations committed to putting the Guidelines into practice.
In 1965, Educational Films of Scotland made fascinating film narrated by Scottish actor Moultrie Kelsall about the history of Grangemouth from 1750 to modern times (1965). Among the highlights of the film is the focus on the role of Grangemouth Town Council as a local, democratic enabler of economic development. In Kelsall’s words,
“I think that Grangemouth has been very well served by a succession of hard-working, and enterprising, forward looking Town Councils.”
Take the time to watch the film. Click on the image below or here.
Today, Grangemouth is in the news in relation to the future of the petrochemical plant and oil refinery. The plant operator, Ineos owns the petrochemical plant and is a co-owner of the oil refinery with PetroChina Company Limited.
To facilitate this investment with Petrochina, the Registers of Scotland, agreed to admit a voluntary registration of the land in the land register. As reported in the Law Society of Scotland’s journal, the Keeper of the Registers was keen to highlight how registration can enhance the confidence of an investor by providing a state-guaranteed title.
Grangemouth Oil Refinery
Deborah Lovell, a partner in Anderson Strathern LLP’s Commercial Real Estate team, commented on their voluntary registration of Grangemouth Refinery.
“The voluntary registration process was used recently on behalf of our client, INEOS, for their landholding comprising their oil refinery and petrochemicals facility at Grangemouth and terminal at Finnart, all held on the historic General Register of Sasines. The registration of the land was key to a number of strategic deals involving transfers of the landholding, the reorganisation of the client’s funding arrangements, and the involvement of a new foreign investor. The benefit of the voluntary registration for our clients included speed and certainty for all parties, which was of major assistance in enabling the parties to achieve their goals.”
The Ineos site is registered under two titles (for links see below).
The petrochemical plant is registered in STG29375 and is owned by Ineos Chemicals Grangemouth Ltd. which is a company 100% owned by Ineos Europe Holdings Ltd. which is a company 100% owned by Ineos Jersey Ltd.
The oil refinery is registered in STG64980 and is owned by Ineos Manufacturing Scotland Ltd. which is a company 100% owned by Petroineos Manufacturing Scotland Ltd. which is a company 100% owned by Ineos Refining Li Ltd., a joint venture company between PetroChina Company Ltd. and Ineos Investments (Jersey) Ltd. This join venture company is not registered in the UK but probably in China and the “Li” in the name is probably a reference to Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang who, with Nick Clegg, witnessed the deal in 2011.
Curiously, the salmon fishing rights in the River Carron and 1486 hectares of the Firth of Forth are owned by BP Exploration Operating Company Limited under title STG27415.
I hope someone returns to Grangemouth and makes a follow-up film to Moutrie Kelsall’s 1965 account. From indigenous local endeavours by Scottish businesses and municipal enterprise, we are now in a world of local government which is not local and does not govern and a world of global footloose private equity firms based in tax havens.
Should tenant farmers in Scotland be given the legal right to convert their tenancies into ownership of the farm that they and their descendants have occupied and worked in some cases for over a century? It’s a question that will be at the centre of a review of agricultural tenancies soon to be announced by the Scottish Government. It is a question that has already been answered in the affirmative for individual crofters (Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 1976), for leaseholders of residential property in England and Wales (dating back to Leasehold Reform Act 1967), for crofting communities (Part 3 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003), and for long leaseholders in Scotland (Long Leases (Scotland) Act 2012).
The issue was last debated in 2003 during the passage of the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 2003. This act provides secure tenants with a qualified right to buy their farm if and when it is put up for sale buy its owner. Secure tenancies (or 1991 tenancies – so-called after a consolidating Act in 1991) are the traditional form of agricultural tenancy many of which have been in place for well over a century. The Act also introduced new short tenancies for specified durations of 5 years (short limited duration tenancies) and 10 years (limited duration tenancies) – let’s call both of these “2003 tenancies”.
On 4 February 2003 during the Committee Stage of the 2003 Act, Fergus Ewing MSP argued that secure tenants should be given an unqualified right to buy at any time. He argued that,
“I find it somewhat ironic that Conservatives who extol the benefits of property ownership want to keep the benefits of property ownership to the few—indeed, the very few—landed estates. The Conservatives do not seem to realise the huge potential that could be unleashed by the creation of more property owners.
“I look forward to hearing what my Conservative friends on the committee have to say about why they do not want many more family farms under ownership in Scotland. Do they not accept that the vehicle of ownership will unleash a spirit of entrepreneurialism that could help to achieve some of the objectives that the Executive propounds in its forward strategy for agriculture?
“The SNP supports the absolute right to buy for secure heritable tenants. We recognise secure heritable tenants as a distinct group of people in Scotland. We do not advocate that those who have short leases should have the right to buy. We have never done so and will never do so, because, in most cases, secure heritable tenants have farmed the land for the whole of their lives, and their fathers and grandfathers, mothers and grandmothers did so before them.” (1)
Ewing’s challenge to the Conservatives is interesting. Back in 1946, Anthony Eden, in a speech to the Conservative Party conference had in fact extolled the virtues of just such a property owning democracy.
“We believe that it is desirable to elaborate schemes whereby the private citizen and the returned soldier should be in a position not only to rent a house but to own one.” Conservatives believed, he added, believe “that the tenant farmer should be assisted and encouraged to become an owner-occupier.” (2)
The purpose of this blog, however, is not to visit the arguments for and against an unqualified right to buy for tenant farmers but to refute an assertion made by landowners in opposition to it – an assertion that has been repeated ad nauseum for over 10 years.
The day after Fergus Ewing’s amendment was defeated, Robert Balfour, the chairman of the Scottish Landowners’ Federation task force on land reform, said, “The SLF is glad that common sense has prevailed. An absolute right to buy will not achieve any of the aims of the Bill and will shatter the tenanted sector.”
Many landowners, in evidence to the Land Reform Review Group argued that the threat of a right to buy would be a disaster. Richard Stirling-Aird argued that the right to buy was “probably the biggest deterrent to owners of land to let farms, and the mere threat itself is sufficient to pretty well dry up such supply of farms coming up for let”
Roxburghe Estates claimed that “Any proposal to grant existing tenant farmers the right to buy their farm at any time, rather than, as at present, when a landowner plans to sell, will have a serious impact on the supply of land to let. Confidence in letting land would be destroyed“.
The problem with such prophecies of doom is that there is no rational basis to believe that either
1, the threat of a right to buy should lead to any reduction in the amount of land to be let or,
2. such a right would, if it were introduced, reduce the amount of land available to let.
Let’s deal with the first claim first.
The right to buy has only ever been and is only being proposed for secure tenants – so-called 1991 tenants. As Fergus Ewing confirmed in 2003, no-one has or is proposing that any such right to buy be granted to tenants of 2003 tenancies. It is thus disingenuous to claim that any landowner should be put off granting such short tenancies. Indeed from 2005 to 2012, the number of SLDT tenancies has increased from 285 to 540 and LDT tenancies from 99 to 321. (3)
As for 1991 tenancies, they have been in decline for decades (down from 6348 in 2005 to 5402 in 2012). There is no possibility of any reduction in land let under traditional secure tenancies for the simple reason that landowners stopped granting such leases a long time ago.
There are thus no credible or reasonable grounds for arguing that the threat of a right will lead to a reduction in the amount of land to rent. No-one is granting secure tenancies in any case and no-one is proposing that 2003 tenancies be made subject to any right to buy.
Now let’s deal with the second claim.
It presumes that if most or all of Scotland’s tenant farmers become owner occupiers, there will be a reduction in the extent of land that is tenanted. Since 1982, there has been a steady decline in tenanted land as illustrated in the graph below – down from 42% in 1982 to 24% in 2012.
GRAPH – Percentage of agricultural land under a tenancy lasting at least one year 1982 – 2010. Source see footnote 3
Of course, if all tenant farmers were to exercise their right to buy, there would be a further immediate reduction but the important point is that there is no evidence to suggest that the extent of land that is leased overall will, in the longer term, reduce any further than it has already.
Indeed, there is evidence to suggest the precise opposite. In Norway, for example, in a country of owner-occupiers where tenant farmers as we recognise them in Scotland don’t exist, tenanted agricultural land has increased from 20% in 1979 to over 42% in 2010. See graph below.
Source: Statistics Norway, Census of Agriculture 2010.
Most countries in the EU have a high proportion of tenanted land. Compared to Scotland’s 24%, France has 74% and Germany 62% of its agricultural land rented out to farmers.
percentage of tenanted land
Share of rented land as a % of the total UAA (2007) Source: Eurostat
The difference is that the vast majority of Scotland’s secure tenants own no land – they rent the whole farm including the family home. In France and Germany, the vast majority of farmers who rent land are also owner-occupier farmers themselves. In other words, across most of Europe owner-occupier farmers lease land to each other as and when they need to. The landlord and the tenant have equal status because they are both landowners. So whereas in Scotland, it is common for landowners to have multiple tenants, in France and Norway, individual farmers have multiple landowners.
Implementing a right to buy for Scotland’s tenant farmers could easily, if the European experience is any guide, lead to an increase in the amount of tenanted land available.
If this is the case, it lends weight to the argument put forward by Professor James Hunter that the introduction of the right to buy should be accompanied by new freedoms to contract. This would mean landowners were free to enter whatever arrangements they saw fit with prospective tenants. Existing leases would continue until they expired and perhaps the 2003 tenancies would continue to be available for those wishing an off the shelf arrangement.
Richard Lochhead gave evidence to the Rural Affairs, Climate CHange and Environment Committee this morning on agricultural tenancies. I will post a link to the official report as soon as it is available. Meanwhile, here is the text of a statement released after the Committee.
“Absolute right to buy will only be considered for secure farm tenancies in Scotland, the Rural Affairs Secretary has confirmed. Speaking after giving evidence on a range of agricultural matters to the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee, Mr Lochhead said:
“I have taken this opportunity to confirm more detail about the Scottish Government’s review of tenant farming legislation. I have already made clear that it would be inconceivable for this review not to include consideration of absolute right to buy.
“Today I was pleased to clarify, for the avoidance of any doubt, that consideration of absolute right to buy will be restricted to secure 1991 Act agricultural tenancies which can be passed down through families for generations.
“I also confirmed the review of Agricultural Holdings legislation will be a Ministerial-led, rather than external, review. I will soon be making an announcement on the remit of the review, the appointment of review group members and the timetable involved.
“Many tenant farmers have made the case that current tenure arrangements stifle on-farm investment. Given the current land reform debate in rural Scotland we need to consider what is in the best interest of rural communities and the role individual land ownership plays in this. Landlords’ views must also be heard.
“It is also important that we give all tenant farmers and stakeholders the opportunity to enter into full and frank dialogue about absolute right to buy.”
As Mr Yousaf heads north, he can tune into the BBC Radio Scotland news bulletin for the Highlands and Islands where he can listen to the Chairman of Scottish Land and Estates, Luke Borthwick, argue that “there has been a tendancy in the past to look back at the historic events that have happened particularly up in the Highlands and I think people need to realise we need to move forward” The clip is taken from the PR video released by Scottish Land and Estates last week. There is also a clip from South Ayrshire Stalking’s Chris Dalton whose lease for the stalking rights on Raasay was been the subject of much controversy last week. The clip is taken from a longer interview conducted by Radio Scotland’s Out of Doors programme (see previous blog).
For those who wish a little bit more context, please read on.
According toa report in Scotland on Sunday today, Kenny MacAskill, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, believes that it is “inevitable” that Scotland’s local authorities and health boards will have to be consolidated.
“Speaking at the International Policing Conference in Edinburgh last week, MacAskill was asked by David Strang, chief constable of Lothian and Borders, if it was right that Scotland could move to one police force, but continue to have 32 local authorities and 15 health boards.
MacAskill replied: “These things are inevitable. Scotland has to address these things and we have to take wider stakeholders with us.
“Where the police are, where they have gone, I think some of my colleagues will look to learn from.
“The status quo is not tenable. It was not tenable in the police and it’s not going to be tenable in other forms of public life.”
If anyone who was at the conference recorded the exchange on a “spypen” or similar, I would be grateful for a transcript. It should be noted that the Scottish government has said that it has “no plans to merge local authorities“.
This instinct for centralisation is not unique to MacAskill (a politician whom I like and admire) but is shared by many Labour and Tory politicians down the years. Labour was responsible for the abolition of local government in 1975 (“local government” has been a misnomer ever since) and the Conservatives were responsible for the creation of Scotland’s existing unitary authorities in 1996. Community Councils it should be noted are not “local government” since they do not govern, have no statutory requirement even to exist, and have no financial powers. They were a sop introduced in the 1973 Local Government Act to appease widespread anger at the abolition of Town Councils.
One might go further back. The Officers of Burghs Act 1469 abolished direct elections in Scotland’s Royal Burghs.
“As touching the election of aldermen, bailies and other officers of burghs, because of the great disturbance and contention each year for the choosing of the same through the multitude and clamour of common simple persons, it is thought expedient that neither officers nor council be continued according to the king’s laws of burghs for more than a year, and that the choosing of the new officers occur in this manner: that is to say, that the old town council shall choose the new council in such number as is suits the town, and the new council and the old one of the previous year shall choose all officers pertaining to the town, such as aldermen, bailies, dean of guild and other officers…”
Protests by the inhabitants that Councils were failing to hold the statutory annual elections were addressed by an Act that, rather than enforcing the “King’s law of burghs“, abolished it altogether. From 1469 until 1833, Scotland’s Burgh councils were chosen by the outgoing town council. This led to rampant nepotism and corruption which only came to an end following the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act 1833. Accounts of the affairs in Scotland’s burghs are laid out in some detail in the 1835 Royal Commission report into the Municipal Corporations of Scotland and treated to a searing satire in John Galt’s The Provost published in 1822.
The high watermark of Scotland’s municipal institutions was probably around 1870 – 1910 when Scotland’s cities and Burghs enjoyed substantial political and fiscal autonomy. In 1975, Scotland’s system of local government that had remained little changed for centuries was abolished and a whole tier of elected councils was eliminated. As a consequence of this single Act, Scotland now stands apart from every other country in Europe in having no local government.
The history can be illustrated by the example of Fife
What this table shows is that Scotland is the least democratic country in Europe – a conclusion that stands even if you include every country in the EU or indeed every country in continental Europe. It has the largest population (per lowest tier of local government) covering the largest geographic area.
Countries of similar population have far more councils. Norway has 430, Finland has 336 and Denmark has 98. Countries that are a similar geographic size to Scotland also have a denser network of councils. Latvia has 119, Lithuania 60 and Austria 2357.
The recent report by the Jimmy Reid Foundation – The Silent Crisis: Failure and Revival in Local Democracy in Scotland – examines in considerable detail the impact this disparity has had on Scottish democracy (including the impact on voting turnout – where Scotland again is bottom of the league). To understand the scale of the crisis this report is a must-read.
The arguments for greater local democracy have been articulated in recent years by a growing number of people.
7.37 At the same time, we saw evidence which demonstrated that Scotland has the lowest number of local councils among European countries of similar population size, This suggests that it is the joining up of discrete service functions at a local level rather than the number of discrete council areas that is the key issue.
If we look at other European countries with comparable populations (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, etc.), they have at least 3 times the number of councils we have, and in some cases more than 6 times. As importantly, these small councils are running a complex array of services (community health, social care, schools, local policing) and often raising the bulk of their income through local taxation.
“The relationship between central and local government in England deviates from the European norm in at least three areas – the level of constitutional protection,(2) the level of financial autonomy, and the level of central government intervention. All serve to tilt the balance of power towards the centre.” (para38)
In a future blog I will propose a new scheme of local government in Scotland. Meanwhile, the question we need to address is why is Scotland the least democratic country in Europe and why do we have such difficulty imagining that we could devise arrangements more closely aligned to the European norm?
(2) For an analysis of the constitutional status of local government across Europe, see this report prepared by Central Research Unit of the Scottish Office in 1998. This is an important issue. In Germany, for example, Angela Merkel would be unable to enter a Federal election promising a German equivalent of the council tax freeze as this would breach Article 28 of the german Constitution which entrenches the fiscal autonomy of the Lander and Municipalities.
Today’s contrasting images come on the day that over 30 Palestinians died in Gaza. They included the Dallo family in Jabalia refugee camp – that’s right a refugee camp – who lost 11 members when their house was attacked by Israeli rockets (see first image below). The BBC headline over this story is “Death toll jumps in Gaza crisis“. One wonders what the headline would be if 11 civilians were killed in a Palestinian rocket attack in Tel Aviv. “World leaders condemn terrorist atrocity” perhaps?
Israeli missile strike on house in Jabalia refugee camp
Palestinian rocket attack on “Israeli” city of Ashkelon
The BBC website published a slideshow of images from the current conflict in Gaza. Two of them showed damage caused by Palestinian rockets. None showed the impact of Israeli missiles but after hunting around the BBC website I managed to find one. I also found one from ATP/Getty from the Daily Mail website.
This is what a Palestinian rocket looks like after it explodes. This one landed in a village near the “Israeli” city of Ashdod
And this is the damage these rockets can do – in this case, to a house near Ashdod