Gaza: There is no justification for shooting unarmed civilians

Many of my constituents have written to me about the Palestinians murdered and wounded in the most recent protests in Gaza.

The use of live ammunition by the Israel Defence Forces must always be a measure of last resort. There is no justification for shooting unarmed civilians behind the border of Israel, inside Gaza. The Israeli Government’s response to legitimate protest by Palestinians was completely wrong. I welcome the condemnation of this action by world leaders and I join others in the call for an independent inquiry into the deaths.

The decision of the President of the United States to move his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has poured fuel on the already raging fire of conflict between the countries of the Middle East. Donald Trump’s reckless and ill-judged decision also flies in the face of decades of historical convention that ensured respect was given to the claims on Jerusalem of both Israelis and Palestinians. America’s foolish gesture, coupled with Netanyahu’s totally outrageous and aggressive actions, has created yet more obstacles to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

I firmly believe that the only way towards achieving lasting peace in the Middle East is by bringing the differing sides together at the negotiating table. I fear President Trump’s foreign policies and this most recent confrontation between Israeli forces and Palestinians will set back the possibility of achieving that peace even further.