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Ongoing Situation in Israel and Gaza


We have all been shocked and deeply saddened by the heart-breaking loss of life that we have seen in the Middle East.


I understand the deep concerns of so many people in Wakefield on this issue.


In recent weeks, the demands of the international community for Israel to show restraint have fallen on deaf ears, while the hostages taken by Hamas remain captive and rockets continue to be fired.


Despite orders from the International Court of Justice, the flow of vital aid into Gaza remains unacceptably restricted, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.


In addition to this I am incredibly concerned that any military offensive in Rafah risks catastrophic consequences for the civilian population and fatal disruption to the humanitarian operation there.


The 1.4 million Palestinians sheltering there simply have no alternative safe location to go, having evacuated to Rafah following Israeli military orders, from homes that have been largely destroyed.


Last night, The House of Commons again debated the dire situation in Gaza as part of an opposition day debate by the Scottish National Party (SNP).


Amendments were submitted by both the Labour

Party and the Government.


When I read the SNP motion, I simply did not believe that it was strong enough and so I signed, supported, and voted for a stronger amendment by Labour which demanded the following:


  • That the Conservative government should join Labour in calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

  • That an Israeli ground offensive in Rafah must not take place.

  • That all hostages must be released and returned.

  • That Israel must comply with rulings from the International Court of Justice

  • That settlement expansion and settler violence must end

  • That there must be a political process towards a two-state solution and lasting peace

  • And that Palestine's statehood must be recognised.


The language and content of a motion really matters, but the SNP motion failed to say anything about the long-term path to peace. It did not fully explain how a lasting ceasefire can be achieved and failed to set out that this ceasefire must be fully observed by all sides. It made no mention of a two-state solution or Palestinian Statehood, nor did it reference the important International Court of Justice ruling.


I had hoped that the whole House would come together and support our amendment, but sadly this did not happen. However, Labour’s amendment and the resulting final motion was passed in the House of Commons without a division being called.

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