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The Government is pressing for humanitarian pauses in Gaza

I know large numbers of people in Wycombe would like a ceasefire in Gaza. A humanitarian crisis is unfolding, and the Government has acted by more than doubling aid to the Palestinian people, and by calling for humanitarian pauses. At PMQs on 25 October, asked about a ceasefire, the PM said he is pressing for pauses, “…from the start we have also wanted to ensure that humanitarian aid can go in and hostages and foreign nationals can come out. We […]

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Why I will vote to recognise Palestine

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On 21 July, I wrote of the conflict over Gaza: As we have recoiled from the violence committed by both sides, too little attention has been paid to the reality of Israeli settlements on the West Bank, their development over the years and their consequences for Palestinians. The progression of those settlements has left the Palestinian people in a state of despair. The election of Hamas appears to be one result. A hopeful future must be found instead. As William Hague […]

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How to send aid to Gaza

The level of human suffering in Gaza and across much of the region is now so appalling as almost to defy words. To live in Gaza, Syria, Iraq or Libya today is to endure the most nightmarish conditions. I was thoroughly dismayed that today’s truce between Hamas and Israel collapsed. Aid to Gaza has been Wycombe people’s first concern, so we asked advice from DFiD. From the Gov.UK website on 30 July: The UK is stepping up its humanitarian response to the Gaza crisis […]

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Gaza: the violence must stop

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As the appalling toll of lives lost has mounted again today in Gaza, it is increasingly clear that it is practically impossible for the Israelis to conduct proportionate operations there. The UN Security Council has rightly called for an immediate ceasefire. The UN Secretary General has described Israel’s shelling of the Shejaiya district of Gaza as “an atrocious action”. Israeli Forces may well give advance notice of their actions but Gaza is arguably too densely populated to allow effective evacuation under operations […]

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I deplore the violence by both sides in the Israel-Gaza conflict

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Yesterday, the House of Commons heard a statement from William Hague on Gaza. Today, I met a party of pupils from Cressex School whose concern was obvious and who were keen to discuss the situation. Later in the week, I expect to meet a group of local people to discuss it further. Many local people have contacted me by email. It is a matter of grave concern that violence has once again escalated. I see this evening that “Israel has resumed […]

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I deplore suffering on both sides of the Gaza-Israel conflict

Yet again, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has escalated in Gaza. Yet again, there is loss of life, injury and suffering on both sides. Once more, there is anger in the UK. Let me be absolutely clear: I deplore the tragic deaths, injury and insecurity on both sides of this conflict. The position of the Palestinian people is dreadful. The position of Israel is fraught. The BBC reports the deaths of fifteen Palestinians and three Israelis and the […]

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Meetings to discuss interception of the Free Gaza Flotilla

This morning, I held two meetings to discuss Israel’s interception of the Free Gaza Flotilla. There is justified horror and anger at events. First, I met members of the Wycombe Muslim Communication Forum before meeting Conservative Muslim councillors. Over the next few days, the Muslim Communication Forum will provide feedback to me on the Foreign Secretary’s statement to the House of Commons. I will then send a briefing note to the Foreign Secretary on local views and give an expanded personal […]

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