Today in Parliament, I spoke on the critical issues facing Palestine.

The violence in the occupied territories has reached an alarming level, with illegal settlers and IDF forces attacking Palestinians. The number of Palestinian deaths this year alone is shocking, and the UN reports that last year was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005. The rise in settler violence is also deeply concerning, with 260 attacks recorded by the UN since January.

For constituents in Ilford South and many other seats like mine, this is not a remote issue; it is one of the most pressing issues on their minds. The health crisis in Palestine is exacerbating the situation, with attacks on health workers and obstructions for medical teams rising exponentially. As an occupying power, Israel has a responsibility to ensure adequate functioning of health services and to protect humanitarian relief.

The recent UK-Israel bilateral relations roadmap has been widely condemned for insulating the relationship between the British and Israeli Governments from Israel’s behavior towards the Palestinians. It is concerning that the agreement rejects the latest ICJ referral, which requests the court’s opinion on Israel’s ongoing violation of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

Our Government has a historical obligation to support the creation and recognition of an independent and viable Palestinian State. It is vital that we ensure a future of hope in which two peoples can coexist on the same land.