Gaza Border Violence Debate

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Gaza Border Violence

Mr Gavin Shuker Excerpts
Tuesday 15th May 2018

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Alistair Burt Parliament Live - Hansard
15 May 2018, 2:10 p.m.

Again, the hon. Lady raises a factor that does not always get the attention it needs: those who are confined in camps around the region, hosted by states that have been supportive over time and supported by the excellent work of UNRWA. We continue to support that work, but she is right. The right of return has been a key part of the discussions between the various parties who will ultimately make the agreement in relation to the peace process. It will remain a key part of the issue, but the parties themselves must come to a solution. We support those who are in these difficult circumstances, and the sooner their position is regularised the better.

Mr Gavin Shuker (Luton South) (Lab/Co-op) Hansard
15 May 2018, 2:10 p.m.

I have written to Ambassador Johnson to condemn, in the strongest terms, the provocative action by the Trump Administration in moving its embassy, which led to the depressingly predictable bloodshed on the border. Is the Minister really saying that he has not done the same?

Alistair Burt Parliament Live - Hansard
15 May 2018, 2:17 p.m.

I would not put it in the same terms as the hon. Gentleman. Just because the United Kingdom seeks to be measured in its responses, we should not make the mistake of thinking that they do not come without emotion, determination and a real concern for affecting change.

I think I have said before at the Dispatch Box that I have done this for too long. We have all been here. We have had debates for years about the future of the area. We cannot go on with this, because each time it gets worse and more difficult. We must not use tragedies to find yet more reasons to build up support for the particular position of one side or the other. Over 30 years in the House I have seen the binary nature of this dispute get worse. The people who used to reach out to each other are no longer able to. The organs that used to be able to put forward a moderate position in Israel and on the other side find it more difficult to do so. That has only given those who want to build more barriers the freedom to do so. We have to challenge all that.

In dealing with the United States, a valued partner in the region but one that does not always get it right, we are very clear and very direct. We hope that the events of the past few days will lead people to realise that this situation cannot be managed and cannot simply drift. It will not go away of its own accord. We all have a greater determination to bring it to its end. Members’ comments will be valuable in that.