Petition Seek a ceasefire and to end Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip

We want the Government to seek a ceasefire and also seek to address the root cause of the current conflict by promoting dialogue and advocating for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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This war has the potential to spill over into neighbouring lands and that would only worsen the humanitarian situation. Palestinians have suffered from occupation and blockades for many years now. I urge the Government to pursue a just and peaceful resolution to the current conflict. With peace comes stability for all of us.

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Parliament debated this topic

This topic was debated on 11 December 2023

Watch the petition 'Seek a ceasefire and to end Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip' being debated

Government responded

This response was given on 13 November 2023

We are focused on conflict resolution. We have consistently called for humanitarian pauses to allow aid in and hostages out, and welcome the announcement of four-hour pauses as a first step.

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As the Prime Minister has said: following Hamas’ horrific terrorist attacks on 7 October, there is no scenario where Hamas can be allowed to control Gaza again. That is why we are not at this stage calling for a general ceasefire, which would potentially allow Hamas to regroup and entrench its position. The United Kingdom is supportive of humanitarian pauses as part of measures to facilitate the flow of life-saving humanitarian aid and ensure civilians are safe.

The UK’s longstanding position on the Middle East Peace Process is clear: we remain committed to a two-state solution, and support a negotiated settlement leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state. We do not believe that a long-term presence of Israeli security forces within Gaza would be of benefit to Israelis or Palestinians, and will foster discontent in the region.

In their diplomatic engagements with governments in the region and beyond, the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, and Lord Ahmad, the Minister of State for the Middle East, have all also discussed ways to establish Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and to prevent wider regional escalation. This includes the King of Jordan, the President of Egypt, the Prime Minister of Israel, Palestinian Authority President Abbas, the President of Turkey, the Amir of Qatar, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the UN Secretary General and the leaders of France, Canada, Italy, the USA and Germany. The Foreign Secretary visited Israel on 11 October, Egypt on 19 October, attended a summit convened by President Sisi in Egypt on 21 October, visited the United Arab Emirates on 30 October, and has this week met with G7 Foreign Ministers in Japan, and Arab Foreign Ministers in Saudi Arabia. Lord Ahmad visited Egypt on 20-21 October, Israel and the OPTs on 1-2 November, and Morocco on 7-8 November.

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

MPs discuss the situation in Israel and Palestine

In the last two weeks, MPs have been regularly discussing the situation in Israel and Palestine. You can find details of relevant discussions in the House of Commons, and how to keep up to date on future business, below.

On Monday 16 October, the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak MP, made a statement in the House of Commons about Israel and Gaza.

On Wednesday 18 October the Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly MP, answered an urgent question about the explosion at the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.

On Monday 23 October, the Prime Minister made a further statement in the House of Commons about Israel and Gaza.

What are Ministerial statements?

Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House.

What are Urgent Questions?

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.

The relevant Government Minister has to come to the Chamber to explain what the Government is doing on the issue raised. The Minister will then usually take questions on the subject from MPs.

Keep up to date

You can find out about upcoming business in the House of Commons, including future discussions about the situation in Israel and Palestine, using Parliament's 'What's on' page.

Find out more about the situation in Israel and Palestine

The House of Commons has published a briefing on UK and international response to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The House of Commons has also published a reading list that provides links to Commons Library papers, Committee reports, parliamentary material and UK Government press releases related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the current parliament. It also includes material on issues related to the current conflict, such as Iran’s influence in the Middle East and Hezbollah’s position in Lebanon. This paper will be updated regularly.

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MPs investigate the UK’s engagement with the Middle East and North Africa

A group of MPs called the Foreign Affairs Committee are looking into the UK’s engagement with the Middle East and North Africa.

The Committee is considering issues including:

  • The medium and long-term challenges facing the countries of the Middle East and North Africa

  • The main countries in which the UK should focus its efforts within the region

  • The conflict between Israel and Palestine and what can be done to engage all parties in seeking a peaceful resolution

  • How the UK should respond to the growing engagement of major powers like Russia, China, Turkey and India in the region.

The investigation was launched in July, but following recent events the Committee has confirmed that it is likely to look at viability of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, and how the UK might be able to help resolve the conflict peacefully.

Read the Committee's press notice announcing this work for more information.

What happens next?

The Committee is going to conduct oral evidence sessions where they will hear from experts in the field, such as former ambassadors to the region, diplomats, academics, NGOs and charities.

The Committee will then consider all the evidence it has taken and publish a report of its findings with recommendations to the Government.

For more information about the inquiry, visit the Committee's inquiry page.

What is the Foreign Affairs Committee?

The Foreign Affairs Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that looks into the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and other associated public bodies, such as the British Council.

The Foreign Affairs Committee is a select committee.

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Government responds to petition calling for a ceasefire in Palestine

The Government has responded to a public (paper) petition calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Palestine. The petition was presented to the House of Commons by Anne McLaughlin MP on behalf of residents of the United Kingdom.

In response to the petition, the Government has stated that it supports a sustainable, permanent ceasefire, with an end to the destruction, the release of hostages and no return to hostilities, creating a deliverable political horizon to a two-state solution. The Government says that a number of things need to happen to achieve a sustainable ceasefire, and that it is fully engaged and committed to working with allies and regional partners in pursuit of a peaceful solution.

What are public (paper) petitions?

A public (paper) petition is a petition to the House of Commons presented by an MP.

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You can also sign up to the UK Parliament newsletter for the latest information on how to get involved and make a difference.

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