Petition Condemn Israel for their treatment of Palestine and Palestinians
For many years the Israeli government has taken unacceptable action (discriminatory regime, stealing homes and Palestinian land) against Palestinians. The world including the UK Government has not responded adequately. The Government needs to publicly condemn their actions and hold them to account.
Irrespective of race, colour, creed or religion the UK Government should take a stand for injustice against humans. The people of Palestine are humans do not have sufficient support from the international community.
This response was given on 11 June 2021
The UK’s role as a defender of international human rights is best realised when we engage constructively with our close partners. Unilateral condemnation will not serve the cause of peace.
HM Government continues to believe a two-state solution is the best way to permanently end the occupation, deliver Palestinian self-determination and to preserve Israel’s security and democratic identity. We do not hesitate to express our objections to any developments that threaten to undermine this commitment. We firmly believe a just and lasting resolution that ends the occupation and delivers peace for both Israelis and Palestinians is long overdue.
The UK continues to urge the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to work together to meet their obligations under the Oslo Accords, and to work towards a sustainable solution to the conflict. We call on all parties to abide by International Humanitarian Law and to promote peace, stability and security.
We are committed to the objective of a sovereign, prosperous Palestinian state, living side by side with a safe and secure Israel. That is why we are a leading donor in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and why we have put such emphasis on strengthening Palestinian institutions and fostering private sector-led, sustainable economic growth in the West Bank.
As a friend of Israel, we maintain a regular dialogue, encouraging the Israeli government to do all it can to uphold the values of equality for all. The UK frequently engages with Israel on issues of concern related to its occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). Our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem work closely with all sectors of Israeli and Palestinian society to encourage tolerance and progress towards peace.
We will continue to press the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships strongly on the need to refrain from taking actions, or encouraging any behaviour or language, which make a culture of peaceful coexistence and a negotiated solution to the conflict more difficult to achieve.
The UK position on settlements, evictions, and demolitions is clear and longstanding. We oppose these activities. The Foreign Secretary has made the UK view clear on this including in meetings with Israeli leaders, most recently during his visit to Israel and the OPTs on 26 May.
Settlements are illegal under international law, present an obstacle to peace, and threaten the physical viability of a two-state solution. We want to see a contiguous West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as part of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, based on 1967 borders. We urge Israel to halt settlement expansion immediately.
Demolitions and evictions of Palestinians from their homes cause unnecessary suffering; call into question Israel’s commitment to a viable two-state solution; and, in all but the most exceptional of cases, are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. We have repeatedly made clear to the Israeli authorities our concern at the increase in demolitions of Palestinian properties in Area C of the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. We call on them to cease demolitions and provide a clear, transparent route to construction for Palestinians in Area C. The UK also provides legal aid to vulnerable Palestinian communities at threat of demolition.
The UK unequivocally condemns the firing of rockets at Jerusalem and locations within Israel. We strongly condemn these acts of terrorism by Hamas and other terrorist groups, who must permanently end their incitement and rocket fire against Israel. We are clear that all countries, including Israel, have a legitimate right to self-defence, and the right to defend their citizens from attack. In doing so, it is vital that all actions are proportionate, in line with International Humanitarian Law, and are calibrated to avoid civilian casualties. In our dialogue with the Israeli authorities we have recognised their legitimate need to deploy these security measures to address the violence. We encourage them to deploy these in a way which minimises tension and to use appropriate force. In instances where there have been accusations of excessive use of force, we have advocated swift, transparent investigations.
The recent conflict demonstrates the urgent need to make progress towards a more positive future, without the threat of violence. The UK is providing an initial £3.2 million to UNRWA's emergency flash appeal, which launched on 19 May. The emergency appeal by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) focuses on meeting the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable Palestinians living in Gaza. This UK support will help UNRWA deliver life-saving humanitarian aid to those that need it most.
The UK remains committed to advancing peace efforts and will continue to work with international partners towards this goal. We continue to call on the parties to show real leadership, including the willingness to make tough compromises, and reframe from unilateral steps that move us further from our shared goal of peace. We will continue our intensive diplomatic efforts in the region, focussed on creating the conditions for a sustainable peace.
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
At 100,000 signatures...
At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament
Other parliamentary business
MPs question Government on efforts to secure a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza
On Wednesday 19 May, MPs asked the Government about the UK Government’s efforts to secure a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza.
You can watch the question and the Government's response on Parliament TV: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/9ed99067-5205-479a-a9f7-28867e325284?in=12:38:54
You can read the question and the Government's response on the Hansard website: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-05-19/debates/B3F55477-09D3-42A0-A2E8-27B9BB6014B4/IsraelAndGazaCeasefire
Why was the question asked?
If an urgent or important matter arises which an MP believes requires an immediate answer from a government minister, they may apply to ask an urgent question.
Find out more about Urgent Questions here:
Petitions Committee schedules debate on Israel and Palestine
The Petitions Committee has also scheduled a debate on Israel and Palestine, in response to two petitions about Israel and Palestine that have received over 100,000 signatures.
This debate will take place on 14 June, and you'll be able to watch online on the UK Parliament YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/UKParliament