Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about Israeli settlements and UK trade.
Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are not only wrong but illegal and I am strongly opposed to the annexation of Palestinian lands. I therefore share your deep concern about the plans to annex large parts of the West Bank.
If the Israeli Government pursues this course of action it would be in direct contravention of international law. It would risk fundamentally undermining efforts to negotiate a peaceful two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. It would also risk jeopardising longstanding peace treaties with neighbouring countries such as Egypt and Jordan, at a time of continued regional and global insecurity.
The British Government cannot be a passive observer. It must use its diplomatic influence to prevent any annexation of the West Bank and continue to work constructively with all parties in pursuit of a peaceful resolution. It must also send out a message that such a blatant breach of international law would not be without consequence. Therefore, if the Israeli Government follows through on its plans, I think the British Government should immediately ban goods entering the UK from the illegal settlements in the West Bank.
I believe a two-state solution is the only way to peacefully end the senseless cycle of violence and suffering in both Israel and Palestine. We cannot allow actions that will set back the prospect of peace in the Middle East and undermine international law to go unaddressed, while the world’s focus is understandably focused on managing the coronavirus pandemic.
I can assure you that I will continue to press the Government to meet our international and moral obligations.