Gaza Ceasefire
Gaza Ceasefire

Yesterday we debated in the House of Commons on the ongoing conflict in Gaza, in which the House supported Labour’s motion for an immediate ceasefire. 

Our amendment called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, to put an end right now to all fighting in Gaza and against any military action in Rafah, which would lead to truly catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

Unfortunately, we witnessed a deeply disappointing attempt by the Tories to frustrate matters and stop the vote, reportedly because their MPs wanted to vote with our Motion rather than the Government’s.

Thankfully Labour’s motion still passed and I now want to see the whole House of Commons come together to help achieve a lasting ceasefire. 

For months, the Labour Party has been calling for an end to the fighting and for steps to be taken towards a diplomatic process for peace and a two-state solution.  That is why my colleagues David Lammy and Lisa Nandy have been in the region, working with international partners to see this happen.

The position passed yesterday was much stronger than anything that had previously been tabled, by not only calling for an end to the fighting, but by providing a clear and workable pathway for the violence to stop permanently. While we agree on the urgency of a ceasefire, the SNP motion had nothing to say about the long term path to peace or about the necessity of Palestinian recognition.

The levels of death and destruction over the past weeks and months have been unspeakable. Far too many innocent Palestinians, including women and children, have been killed. There must be full accountability for this.

The recent and  incredibly important ruling from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) brought about by South Africa, must be respected and supported by all states and parties who believe in international law.  

We are demanding an end to settlement expansion and for Israel to comply with the International Court of Justice’s provisional measures. As the bombardment continues, Israel must be fully investigated by the International Criminal Court for allegations of war crimes. 

Furthermore, myself and the Labour Party are joining the calls of Australia, Canada and New Zealand for Hamas to immediately release and return all hostages. The families of the remaining hostages are frozen in uncertainty, anguish and pain and their continued detention is prolonging this war.  

All the while, these steps need to be matched by a massive humanitarian aid programme for Gaza. Those displaced in this conflict need assurances of their right to return home and rebuild their lives. Gaza cannot be left as a refugee camp, there can be no reoccupation or reduction of its territory.

We also have to be clear on how we prevent the violence starting up again and achieve a permanent ceasefire. 

Only with an end to the occupation in Palestine can there be a peaceful solution. Statehood is the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and not in the gift of any neighbour.

Likewise, Israel needs to be assured that the horror of 7th October cannot happen again. Israel cannot be expected to cease fighting if Hamas continues with violence.

Therefore, Labour is calling for the UN Security Council to meet urgently and all international partners to work together to establish a diplomatic process to deliver the peace of a two-state solution. With a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state.  


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