In today’s Foreign Office Questions, along with my Sheffield colleague Clive Betts, I was selected to ask Andrew Mitchell (as the Minister answering for the Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron) about the lack of progress towards  a ceasefire and political solution. We liaised to cover the concerns currently being raised with us by constituents.

Clive was drawn first and pressed the Minister on a ceasefire and arms sales (on which I’ve written to the Foreign Secretary), saying:

“The mass killing of civilians in Gaza is completely unacceptable, it has too stop. Yet for all the pleas for restraint Netanyahu and the Israeli Government simply ignore them.  These pleads have become empty words.

So, what is the Government going to do to put real pressure on Israel to stop the killing of civilians, to enter into meaningful negotiations for a ceasefire and to stop threating the illegal permanent occupation of Gaza. Perhaps the time has come to stop the selling arms to Israel which are being used to raise Gaza to the ground”

I followed up on Israel’s rejection of a two-state solution and illegal settlement in the West Bank, saying:

 “The government has consistently repeated its commitment to a two-state solution. And that’s right. But for 30 years Israel has deliberately undermined it through settlement of the West Bank in contravention of international law. Now Netanyahu has come clean and ruled out a two-state solution.

So, if the UK’s policy is to be seen as anything more than empty words, would the Minister agree we need to demonstrate our commitment to a viable Palestinian state by recognising it and by upgrading the current government advice against trade with the illegal settlements into a full embargo?”

You can watch my question and Andrew Mitchell’s response below:

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