Israel and Palestine

Dear Constituent,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine.

I have travelled to Israel and to the West Bank and I have witnessed first-hand the difficulties that people who live there have to face, often on a daily basis.

Hamas's rocket attacks against innocent civilians can never be justified. Non-combatants are never legitimate targets and Hamas is a terrorist organisation that oppresses its own people as well as attacking Israelis. Any response by Israel must, of course, be proportionate and considered.

The UK Government has restated its commitment to a two-state solution, where two equal and sovereign states, Palestine and Israel, live side by side in peace and mutual respect.

The situation on the ground has deteriorated over recent years and a sustainable resolution is long overdue. The UK continues to urge Israel and the Palestinian Authority to engage in substantive peace talks and resume direct negotiations towards a just and durable two-state solution, and I have been assured that the UK has a regular dialogue with many parties on this important issue.

I hope and pray for peace across the Middle East and we in the United Kingdom know all too well that our actions, such as invading Iraq, have too often made the delicate situation there even worse. But violence against innocent people is never the solution. The future for Palestine and Israel must be one of fruitful and peaceful cooperation, not violence and recrimination.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to me.