Here’s the text of my letter to the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, regarding the ongoing situation in Israel and Palestine.
The Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
King Charles Street
Our Ref: JM32119
18 May 2021
Dear Secretary of State,
Like all of us, my constituents have been shocked and appalled by the recent violence in Israel and Palestine and the loss of innocent lives, including children. The reports and images relayed from the frontline of the conflict have reverberated around the world, and my constituents want to see the UK Government do all it can to help bring an end to the bloodshed.
Forced evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the construction of settlements which contravene international law have been unjust and provocative acts.
My constituents want to see the UK Government make strong representations to Israeli counterparts on these issues, and make the case that such activity only entrenches divisions and makes peace harder to achieve.
I know that the attacks on the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem during Ramadan were incredibly distressing both for the Muslim community in my constituency and people of faith across the world who value the freedom of religious expression and the right to worship in peace.
In all representations to counterparts in the region, the UK Government should make clear that sacred sites for people of all faiths are treated with respect.
There are fears that the continuation of rocket attacks from both sides risks escalating a cycle of violence. My constituents want to see the UK Government do all it can with the international community to push for an immediate ceasefire; and urgently assess the use of any arms and equipment exported from the UK for use in this conflict.
I would be grateful for assurances you could confirm whether the UK Government intends to formally recognise Palestine as a state – as nearly 140 other countries have done – in order to help bring about a two-state solution.
I would be grateful if you could provide an update on diplomatic measures your department is taking to bring an end to the conflict. Moderate voices in Palestine, Israel and around the world deplore the violence we have seen; and it’s vital that the UK Government does all it can to advocate for peace at this juncture and in the longerterm.
I look forward to hearing from you.
MP Newport East