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Catherine West MP's statement on the killing of Palestinians in Gaza

Catherine West MP said: "The situation facing the Palestinian people living in Gaza is absolutely appalling. I utterly condemn the actions taken by the Israeli Government against Palestinian protesters, their use of excessive and in many cases lethal force is not simply disproportionate, it is wholly unjustifiable. These actions do nothing to facilitate the peace process, rather it continues to fuel the cycle of hatred and resentment between both peoples.

Yesterday marked the bloodiest day of this conflict since the 2014 war: 58 Palestinians were killed, 6 of them were children, and one of them was a baby of 8 months old. The number of Palestinians wounded from IDF attacks has risen to over 2700. Given this most recent wave of bloodshed, it is now more critical than ever that an immediate ceasefire is secured, not just to end the bloodshed on both sides of this conflict, but to provide the necessary environment for the peace process to restart.

The right to protest peacefully is a fundamental tenet of civilised society and it must be protected, but in instances where violence has erupted, these occurrences must be condemned and restraint urged. There are concerns that Hamas has directly encouraged such violence, if this is found to be the case, this Government must challenge President Abbas directly on this unacceptable incitement to violence.

The response from the UK Government to the ongoing crisis in Gaza and in the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been limp and wholly inadequate, especially with regards to the reckless actions of President Trump. Donald Trump’s deeply insensitive and provocative decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem has set the peace process back years. It is incumbent upon the UK Government to challenge the US President on his actions and help lead the international community to help both parties secure a lasting peace in the region. In addition to this, we must have an independent and impartial UN-led inquiry into this most recent outbreak of violence."

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Catherine West MP

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