The catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Gaza is worsening and I remain greatly concerned by the suffering experienced by the Palestinian people as the brutal war rages on.  

I have been working tirelessly to make a meaningful difference by advocating for an immediate ceasefire and a long-lasting, peaceful two-state solution in the region.  

I was particularly concerned recently by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to impose restrictions on Muslims wishing to worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Ramadan. Ahead of Ramadan, I secured cross-party condemnation in the House of Commons of this plan and reiterated that Palestinians should be free to worship in one of the holiest sites in Islam during the holiest month of the year. You can watch the speech here 

You can view all the action I have taken and follow my ongoing work in the Commons to address this issue since the horrific attacks took place on 7th October, by visiting my website here.  I have included below the specific links from my website to my previous monthly updates which may be helpful to you:  

I have spoken in numerous debates in Parliament, submitted written questions and supported many motions all relating to this conflict and the need for peace which you can find here.  

The need for a ceasefire  

I have been consistently clear in my view that we need an immediate ceasefire, long-lasting ceasefire in Gaza, the Israeli Government to be held accountable for war crimes at the ICJ, an end to settler expansion, the recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine alongside Israel, and an international commitment to support a political process towards a two-state solution.    

Despite the disappointing political games played by the Tory Government and SNP, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion supporting an immediate ceasefire in Gaza in February, as amended by Labour. It is also concerning that the Tory Government has confirmed that they will ignore this vote and will not change UK Government foreign policy to reflect this. Nevertheless, I will continue to support all parliamentary initiatives urging an end to the violence.    

The UN Security Council’s long-awaited call for an immediate ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages, and full humanitarian access in Gaza could not be more necessary. This first meaningful resolution passed by the council needs to be implemented as soon as possible and the UK Government must apply diplomatic pressure to make this happen. 

Violence in the West Bank  

While the world’s attention is rightly on the humanitarian crisis and horrific situation in Gaza, I am deeply worried that not enough focus is on the increasingly precarious life of Palestinians in the West Bank.  

According to the Palestinian health ministry, more than 400 Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the West Bank have been killed by Israeli fire since 7th October.  

This is why I have written to Lord David Cameron, the Secretary of State for Foreign Commonwealth and Development, to highlight my concern about the awful oppression and suffering endured by a friend of my constituent in the West Bank, and to urge the Government to announce further sanctions for extremist settlers and unlawful lethal Israeli forces. Read more here.  

Aid to Gaza  

We need to see an end to this horrific ordeal. The Government needs to consider the potential implications of its decision to suspend future funding beyond April for UNRWA as well as prevent the transfer of military equipment where this may be used to violate human rights or international humanitarian law. While Hamas certainly need to be brought to justice and the hostages need to be released immediately, this does not justify the indiscriminate attacks and collective punishment of all Palestinian people that is being committed by the IDF.   

Israel does have the right under international law to check air flowing into Gaza, but it does not have the right to prevent it wholesale. At the moment, too little aid is getting in as vital medical supplies have been caught up in Israel’s restriction of aid to Gaza which senior UN officials stated had brought large parts of the territory to the brink of a “man-made famine.”  

What we are seeing in Gaza is nothing short of a humanitarian crisis. The UK has a clear obligation to promote human rights at home and internationally. I believe this means the UK must suspend arms sales to Israel and permanently resume funding to UNRWA. I have signed a letter, alongside almost 200 MPs, calling for the immediate end to arms sales to Israel, which you can read here.  

Last week, the Labour Party called an Urgent Question in the House of Commons to ask the Government to make a statement on the situation in Gaza. I highlighted the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza and called on the Government to commit not only restarting, but increasing, funding for UNRWA. You can read about this and watch my intervention here.  

The Government must do all that they can to expand the flow of humanitarian assistance and reinforce protection of civilians in the Gaza Strip to prevent even more unimaginable suffering. The UK must stop being complicit in serious violations of international law and must deter Israel from committing further atrocities. 

I will continue to do everything in my powers to make a meaningful difference by advocating for an immediate ceasefire and a long-lasting, peaceful two-state solution in the region.   

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