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Petition UK Government to formally recognise the State of Palestine

Recognise the state of Palestine to help stop the conflict from Israel. Not recognising the Palestinian state allows Israel to continue their persecution of the Palestinians.

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 14 June 2021

Watch the petition 'UK Government to formally recognise the State of Palestine' being debated

Government responded

This response was given on 8 June 2021

The UK will recognise a Palestinian state at a time when it best serves the objective of peace. We continue to encourage progress towards a negotiated two-state solution between the parties.

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The UK’s longstanding position on the Middle East Peace Process is clear and longstanding: we support a negotiated two-state solution leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state; based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps. With Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states, and a just, fair, agreed and realistic settlement for refugees. A two-state solution is the only way to protect Israel’s Jewish and democratic character and realise Palestinian national aspirations. Resuming meaningful bilateral negotiations, with international support, is the best way of reaching such an agreement.

The UK will recognise a Palestinian state at a time when it best serves the objective of peace. Bilateral recognition in itself cannot end the occupation. The UK Government continues to believe that without a negotiated peace agreement, the occupation and the problems that come with it will continue.

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 (OPTs) and why we have put such emphasis on strengthening Palestinian institutions and fostering private sector-led, sustainable economic growth in the West Bank.

Economic progress can never be a substitute for a political settlement, but it is vital in the interim that Palestinians see tangible improvements in their daily lives. Economic growth in the OPTs remains vital to give hope to the Palestinian people. For too long it has been stifled by Israeli restrictions. We call on the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel to resume dialogue on economic issues, to re-convene the Joint Economic Committee, and to address the financial and Covid crises together.

HM Government have strong relations with the PA. The PA has made important progress on state-building which has been recognised by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. That is why it is so important that the PA now returns to Gaza to ensure that good governance is extended throughout the territory which will become a Palestinian state.

The recent escalation of violence was deeply concerning, and underlines the need for all parties to advance meaningful peace negotiations, and for the PA to return to Gaza. The UK unequivocally condemned the firing of rockets at Jerusalem and locations within Israel. We strongly condemn these acts of terrorism from Hamas and other terrorist groups, who must permanently end their incitement and rocket fire against Israel. Israel has a legitimate right to self-defence, and the right to defend its citizens from attack. In doing so, it is vital that all actions are proportionate, in line with international humanitarian law, and make every effort to avoid civilian casualties.

We welcome the announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. Recent events must galvanise us all in our commitment to achieve a two-state solution that ensures a safe and secure Israel, living alongside a Palestinian state based on 1967 lines, with Jerusalem the shared capital of both states – the only solution that we believe can end the cycle of violence and deliver a just and sustainable peace. The UK will continue our intensive diplomatic efforts in the region, focussed on creating the conditions for a sustainable peace.

In the OPTs, development programmes, in line with the UK’s longstanding position, work to preserve the prospect of a negotiated two-state solution and to improve the lives of Palestinians throughout the Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. This will not change.

We are providing an initial £3.2 million of UK aid to UNRWA’s emergency flash appeal, which launched on 19 May 2021. This appeal will address the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable Palestinians living in Gaza. Existing UK aid to UNRWA is already helping the Agency to provide emergency food to more than one million refugees in Gaza this year.
During the Foreign Secretary’s visit to the region on 26 May he reiterated the UK’s firm commitment to the two-state solution as the best way to permanently end the occupation, deliver Palestinian self-determination and to preserve Israel’s security and democratic identity. Every Israeli and Palestinian has the right to live in peace and security. A just and lasting resolution that ends the occupation and delivers peace for both Israelis and Palestinians is long overdue. We have urged Israel and the PA to work together to meet their obligations under the Oslo Accords. We also call on all parties to abide by International Humanitarian Law and to promote peace, stability and security.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

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

This question is in addition to the debate the Petitions Committee has scheduled on Israel and Palestine for 14 June 2021.
 

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:
https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/urgent-questions/

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