Thank you to constituents that have contacted me with their concerns over the current situation in Israel.
The events we have seen unfolding in Israel are genuinely horrific. I join the UK Government in condemning the appalling attacks perpetrated by Hamas, standing resolutely with Israel in defending itself against terror, and highlighting the need to act in accordance with international humanitarian law.
The UK recognises the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and supports a lasting solution for Israelis and Palestinians alike. However, Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people or their aspirations; it offers nothing for them other than more terror and more bloodshed. I support Israel’s right to retaliate against Hamas, take back the hostages, deter further incursions and strengthen its long-term security.
The loss of every innocent life is a tragedy, and while acknowledging that Hamas has entangled itself behind the civilian population of Gaza, the UK Prime Minister has called on and will continue to call on the Israeli Government to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians. The UK Foreign Secretary has also called for discipline, professionalism and restraint from the Israeli military.
The UK Government’s response is now focused on getting humanitarian aid into Gaza, preventing regional escalation, and supporting long-term solutions to the crisis.
The UK is already a significant provider of aid to the Palestinian people, but in light of the rapidly deteriorating situation in Gaza, the Government is increasing its humanitarian support by a further £20 million. To support regional stability, Ministers have increased our military presence in the eastern Mediterranean, deploying a Royal Navy task group and bolstering our forces in Cyprus. The Prime Minister has also been engaging extensively with his international counterparts, including the leaders of the United States, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, all of whom are determined to prevent the escalation of this devastating conflict.
Looking to the long-term, it is clear that we must not lose sight of how essential a two-state solution is. I welcome that the UK will work with international partners to bring renewed energy to this effort.
Regarding the concerns about Israel’s settlement expansion which led to the actions on taken on October 7th, the UK has long held the position that there should be a negotiated settlement leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, based on 1967 borders. For many years, the UK has consistently called- both bilaterally and via the UN- for an immediate end to all actions that undermine the viability of such a solution.
Click on the link to read the Prime Minister's press release issued today (13 October 2023). Prime Minister deploys UK military to Eastern Mediterranean to support Israel - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)