Rushanara Ali MP, responding to the announcement of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, said:
“The agreed ceasefire is a crucial first step in the de-escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine. The loss of life, including many children, has been devastating. The prospect of any peaceful and lasting resolution to this long-standing conflict is severely undermined by this violence. It is vital that this ceasefire is respected by both sides.
It is paramount that humanitarian assistance to Gaza is scaled up in the coming days and that support is allowed to reach the civilians who need it. This support must include medical supplies and fuel to prevent the near constant blackouts.
This ceasefire must act as a start of a move towards a lasting peace process. The use of unlawful force and forced evictions of Palestinians must be stopped. Palestinians are under threat of their homes being demolished and forcibly displaced. Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are wrong and illegal under international law. The demolition of Palestinian homes to make way for more settlements represents a real threat to the two-state solution as a way of ending the ongoing conflict.
Time and again, I along with many of my fellow Parliamentary colleagues have called on our government to act as an honest broker and take action to help bring about a viable peace. Whilst the ceasefire is welcome news, the international community must help bring an end to the cycle of violent conflict and work towards a lasting peace and a genuinely viable two-state solution.”
For background, Rushanara has done the following in Parliament to campaign on the issue. She wrote to the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary calling for urgent action to help bring an end to the air strikes and violence in East Jerusalem and the ongoing extension of illegal settlements. In the past two weeks, she put her name forward to speak at two Urgent Questions in Parliament on the situation in Israel and Palestine. Unfortunately, she was not successful in either ballot. Here are some of her interventions from the recent past:
- Late last year, during a debate on the annexation of the Occupied Palestinian territories, she urged the UK Government to take action to ensure there is a genuine peace process. You can watch her speech here: https://www.rushanaraali.org/annexation_of_the_occupied_palestinian_territories.
- In 2019, she joined The Council for Arab-British Understanding and Medical Aid for Palestinians on a working visit to the West Bank, where she met with various UN agencies, Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations, as well as visiting Medical Aid for Palestinians’ healthcare projects. These organisations continue to highlight issues arising from the ongoing blockade of Gaza, including the need for humanitarian aid and access to healthcare. You can read a full report of her working trip here: https://www.map.org.uk/news/archive/post/1023-mps-visit-communities-at-the-sharp-end-of-occupation-with-map-and-caabu.