The violence we are witnessing in East Jerusalem, in both Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighbourhoods and at the holy site of Al-Aqsa mosque throughout Ramadan, is deplorable and rightly condemned by the international community.

Attempts by Israeli settlers to forcefully evict innocent Palestinian families from their homes breaks international humanitarian law under the Fourth Geneva Convention. As a Shadow Minister for International Development for the Middle East region, I have on many occasions raised with the UK Government the ongoing and increasing forceful illegal evictions of Palestinians, the seizure and demolition of land and property, and continued de facto annexation of the West Bank.

Unfortunately, the response on each occasion from the Foreign Secretary and Ministers has been lacklustre, and hollow platitudes fall short of the values Global Britain should reflect nor do they reflect the influence we are able to exude along with our international partners.

I am appalled by the excess use of force and violence, the impeding of medical access and infringements of rights in East Jerusalem by Israeli authorities and I am horrified by air strikes on civilian areas in Gaza. The growing number of causalities and fatalities we are witnessing, including children, is shameful.

I am also deeply troubled by the ongoing rocket attacks launched into Israel which have injured innocent Israeli civilians.

The escalating violence on all sides must stop and the incendiary behaviour must end.

We now need to see leadership and swift diplomatic action from the UK Government and the international community. We must lead by the power of our example, with our values first as we work collaboratively on the international stage to protect and advance human right and individual freedoms and end injustice and indignity. Inaction breeds impunity and I fear with it the loss of past efforts and the goodwill needed in the present to secure a peaceful two state solution which assures both the security of a democratic state of Israel and the statehood, rights and freedoms Palestinians are entitled to.

I will continue to press UK Government and the Foreign Secretary.


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