Please be assured that I take these issues very seriously, and I am extremely concerned about the plight of the Palestinians. I am a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Palestine and regularly attend briefings, so I know what is happening in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). I urgently want a solution and a just peace for all.
I too am also deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in the West Bank and the OPTs. The continued loss of innocent lives and injured civilians, especially children, highlights the urgent need for restraint, calm and respect for dignity of human life from all parties. My thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the ongoing violence.
I agree entirely with the comments about the immensely challenging circumstances health workers in the West Bank are currently facing. Medical facilities and personnel have clear protections under international humanitarian law and I know my ministerial colleagues in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office continue to urge all parties to abide by their obligations under international law.
The accelerating cycle of violence in the West Bank risks another round of bloodshed, threatening the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis. Alongside HMG, I unequivocally condemn all forms of terrorism and violence against civilians, including the terrorist attack on 20 June in Eli targeting Israeli civilians, and the ongoing settler violence targeting Palestinians, especially the latest operation by the Israel Defence Forces in the Jenin Refugee Camp on 3 July 2023. While the UK firmly supports Israel's right to defend itself and its citizens against terrorism, the UK urges the Israel Defence Forces to demonstrate restraint, adhere to the principles of international humanitarian law, and prioritise the protection of civilians. Indeed, where excessive force is used by any party, the UK calls for swift and transparent investigations to uphold accountability.
There is no doubt that this escalation of violence in the West Bank is reducing the prospects for peace and the UK continues to call on all parties to de-escalate and I understand the Foreign Secretary discussed this with the Israeli Foreign Minister and the Palestinian Prime Minister on 26 and 16 June respectively. I am assured my ministerial colleagues are doing all they can to de-escalate the security situation in the West Bank and encourage a negotiated two-state solution which ends the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.