Thank you to every constituent who has messaged me in recent weeks regarding the appalling violence we have witnessed against innocent Palestinian families in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as the alarming intensification in the longstanding conflict between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, and the tragic and entirely avoidable loss of life, injury, and destruction we have seen on all sides.
Unfortunately, I was not selected to speak in the latest debate yesterday in Parliament. However, I wanted to again place on record my thoughts and concerns.
Events at Al-Aqsa mosque during the holiest month and attempts by Israeli settlers to forcefully evict innocent Palestinian families from their homes, which contravenes international humanitarian law under the Fourth Geneva Convention, shocked the world.
The violence, impediment to medical assistance and militarised used of force by Israeli authorities and air strikes on civilian areas in Gaza are deplorable and were rightly condemned by the international community.
Similarly, I was deeply troubled by rocket attacks launched into Israel by Hamas which injured innocent Israeli civilians. The number of causalities and fatalities, including children, on both sides should shame those who have perpetuated the conflict.
I strongly called for the escalating violence on all sides and incendiary behaviour to be ended. I also strongly condemn the spike in anti-Semitism and islamophobia we have witnessed at home and overseas.
It is my sincere hope that recent events have reinvigorated international pressure and a genuine desire for hostilities to be brought to a peaceful end and with it new hope that meaningful dialogue and peace talks will be resurrected to find a solution which allows Israelis and Palestinians to live and prosper alongside one another safely and securely, as the vast majority of civilians want.
There can be no equivocation – 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’ll continue to press the foreign Secretary and UK Government.