A call on the British Government to back the ending of development aid for illegal Israeli businesses in the occupied Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem fell on deaf ears late last night.
The Speaker of the House of Commons had granted Stockton North Labour MP Alex Cunningham the time to debate Humanitarian issues in Jerusalem, but he was left disappointed when the government ruled out any practical action to stop in annexation of the Palestinians.
In the adjournment debate which ended just before midnight, Alex outlined in detail the pressures facing Palestinians including finding themselves surrounded by barriers and check points, refused the right to move around their own city without enduring hours of check point queues and being unable to live as united families without special permission from the occupying forces.
He called on the Government to help stop EU funding for businesses which operate from within the illegal occupied territories including one that provides monitoring equipment for the Wall which separates families and communities.
Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne agreed that much of what the Israeli authorities were doing was illegal but sadly said there was no intention to impose any kind of sanctions against Israel.
“I was pleased to be able to highlight the plight of the Palestinians – particularly after I visited Gaza last year – as it is critical everyone across the world continues to keep the pressure up on Israel to stop treating the Palestinians in the way they do and work effectively towards a two state solution.
“I was disappointed the Minister ruled out any form of sanction against the Israeli authorities particularly as the EU is funding projects based in the illegally occupied territories.”
“Like others, I condemn the killing of both Palestinians and Israelis whether by bombing, missiles or execution – it is time all involved addressed the humanitarian issues that blight the Middle East and Israel/Palestine in particular. The international community relying on talk and no practical action cannot really expect to achieve the two state solution with the shared capital of Jerusalem and the lasting peace we all want.”