Many constituents have contacted me to voice their concerns about the increasing violence along the Israel-Gaza border, and especially the events that led to the death of at least 58 and injury of almost 3,000 people this week.
I support my colleague Emily Thornberry MP, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, in her call for a clear need to establish the facts around these events. I back the UN Secretary General’s calls for an independent and transparent investigation. The UK should lead calls for the UN Security Council to order an investigation to urgently determine whether international law has been broken so that any parties found to have done so can be held to account.
There is evidence that protesters were shot in the back, shot hundreds of metres from the border and a number of the victims were children. The use of live ammunition shows that the UK needs to urgently review the sale of arms that could be used in violation of international law. This is more important than ever in the shadow of this tragedy.
Terrible incidents such as these remind us of the pressing need to work towards the two-state solution that we all want to see: a secure Israel living in peace alongside a viable state of Palestine and an end to the senseless cycle of violence.
This will require both sides – and the international community as a whole – to come together as a matter of urgency. It will also require both sides avoiding actions that put the two-state solution at risk and make peace harder to achieve. That must mean an end to the blockade of Gaza and Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. It must also mean an end to terror attacks and incitement.