Following an influx of correspondence from constituents concerned about the escalating violence between Israel and Palestine, Mary has written to the Foreign Secretary to urge the Government to do all it can to calm the situation as quickly as possible.
In her letter, Mary outlines the steps that she feels the Government should take as a matter of urgency, and you can read the text below:
Dear Foreign Secretary,
I am writing to you following the escalating violence between Israel and Palestine, to ask that you urgently act to de-escalate the situation.
I, like the many constituents who have contacted me on this, have watched in horror at the persecution of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, as well the news of casualties from the resulting missile fire.
This crisis escalated due to attempts by Israel to illegally evict Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. This ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem violates international humanitarian law and has led to rapidly escalating tensions in the region. These tensions were added to by the use of state violence against Palestinian worshippers and protesters- with 200 people injured from the use of rubber bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades- as well as the raiding and desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Following this, both nations have launched missiles, resulting in civilian casualties.
At the time of writing, I am aware that at least 48 Palestinians, including 14 children, as well as six Israelis, including one child, have been killed. I condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms, particularly the murder of children. They were not soldiers, they were not terrorists, they were children. Their deaths cannot be justified or defended.
The loss of every life is deeply tragic, and every step must be taken to de-escalate this violence. However, to resolve this situation it must be accepted that it was sparked by Israel’s continued violation of international humanitarian law.
It must also be acknowledged that this is not a conflict between equals, with Israel a vastly more powerful force that has occupied and annexed Palestinian land over several decades. For too long, Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territory and repeated breaches of international humanitarian law have been tolerated by the international community and this Government. Mere condemnation is no longer enough if we want to see a permanent end to this crisis, the Government must act now.
I therefore request that the Government:
– Urgently works with both sides to de-escalate this conflict as a priority and call on all parties to respect humanitarian law.
– Demands that the Israel immediately ends its programme of forced evictions in East Jerusalem and repeals the laws that underpin these evictions.
– Demands that the Israel ends its use of violence against Palestinian civilians and commits to respect holy sites such as the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
– Immediately suspends its arms trade with Israel.
– Commits to pressure the Israeli Government to lift the siege of Gaza and to end its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.
I look forward to your response.