Friday, 19 July 2019

Bradford East MPs Imran Hussain and Naz Shah join debate on Palestine

NAZ SHAH - IMRAN HUSSAIN

BRADFORD MPs have today made calls on the Government to recognise Palestine as an independent state and do more to push for peace. Imran Hussain, Labour MP for Bradford East, told the House of Commons it has to do this before illegal Israeli settlements makes having two states impossible. He backed up calls from former Conservative minister Sir Desmond Swayne that Israel will continue to act with “absolute impunity” unless Palestine is formally recognised as an independent state. Mr Hussain said: “A two-state solution is the only viable option for peace in that region but if we continue to see Palestinian land disappear under illegal settlements, the two-state solution will be dead and the hopes of peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike will be dead with it. “The solution is a two-state solution, not a one-and-a-bit-state solution – and Palestinians will not negotiate for this lesser deal, for it is not one they were promised under UN agreements.”

Members of the Commons voted on a motion to call on the UK Government to reaffirm its commitment to a peaceful negotiated solution between Israel and Palestine.  A law passed by the Israeli parliament has retrospectively legalised thousands of West Bank homes built unlawfully on private Palestinian land. MPs have previously backed statehood for Palestine but the vote was symbolic and did not compel the Government to act. Bradford West MP Naz Shah called on the Government to do more to push for peace between Israel and Palestine. In the debate she also called on the Government to act on the resolution signed in December at the UN and to move from condemnation to accountability. She said: “Like the Palestinians have done since 1993, I also recognize and accept a two-state solution, and for Israel’s existence. “We as a country have been very clear that settlements are an obstacle to peace, they have no legality and, are against international law. “The new ‘regulation’ bill flies in the face of the UN resolution we have just committed to. “For the Israeli Government to attempt legislate in a land that is not under the rule of their Parliament, where the people of that land have no representation, is a travesty. “This year marks 50 years of occupation. It high time we move beyond condemnation to accountability.”

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