Firstly, I am deeply concerned about the situation in East Jerusalem. The forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah must stop and I wholeheartedly condemn attempts by Israeli settlers to take control of Palestinian homes. East Jerusalem has been illegally annexed – Israel is the occupying power, which creates obligations that the Israeli Government is not meeting. Israel must comply with international law.
I was deeply shocked to see the violence used against worshippers gathered during Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque – this was totally unacceptable. It is essential that holy sites are respected.
I condemn in the strongest terms the rocket attacks by Hamas that have killed Israeli civilians and the air strikes by Israel in Gaza which killed many Palestinian civilians including children. Leaders on both sides must urgently seek de-escalation.
I believe the UK Government should make urgent representations to the Israeli Government to halt all evictions in East Jerusalem, change planning laws that discriminate against Palestinians and suspend the construction of all other settlements in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank immediately.
Labour MPs will press the Government to take action on this issue in an urgent question in the House of Commons this week.