Please ask him to continue his efforts to push for a lasting ceasefire, justice and peace in Gaza and Palestine, demanding that Israel respect universal human rights and honour international agreements and international law.
We gratefully acknowledge MP Alan Reid’s express permission to publish the following on these pages:
‘The situation in Gaza is appalling and I have written to the Foreign Secretary saying that the Israeli action in Gaza is a very disproportionate response to the rocket attacks by Hamas. I’ve put my name to the following House of Commons motions:
[Early Day Motion 284 (2014) – DEATHS OF PALESTINIAN CIVILIANS
(Sponsors: Hemming, John; McDonnell, John; Jackson, Glenda; Kaufman, Gerald; Glindon, Mary)]
“That this House notes the widespread cross-party questioning of Israel’s wholly disproportionate and brutal attack on the Palestinian people of Gaza as expressed in the Chamber on 21 July 2014; further notes that thousands of people marched in protest in London at this attack on 19 July 2014; further notes that an even greater number will attend another demonstration on 26 July 2014; further notes the Gaza weekend death toll of more than 150 Palestinians with a disproportionate number of women and children; further notes the repetitive Israeli media spin about targeting militants; acknowledges the strength of character of Palestinians and their medical workers including Dr Mads Gilbert who describes the situation vividly, ‘the rivers of blood will keep running the coming night’ and who calls upon leaders to spend ‘just one night’ in Gaza which would ‘change history’; and calls on the Government to do everything in its power to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.”
[Early day motion 246 (2014) –
COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT OF PALESTINIANS
(Primary sponsor: Corbyn, Jeremy; Sponsors: Bottomley, Peter; Durkan, Mark)]
“That this House notes that once again Palestine’s Gaza region has come under attack by the Israeli Defence Force; further notes that in this wholly unequal cycle of violence 490 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed by Israel since the end of Operation Cast Lead in 2009, and three Israelis; further notes that in this current attack Defence 4 Children International Palestine report that eight children have been killed and Palestinian writer and health worker, Mona Elfarra, reports the, not unusual, targeting of health centres including the European Hospital East of Khan Younis where many were both suffering and sheltering; and calls on the Government to do everything within its power to bring about an end to the collective punishment of Palestinans and the occupation that is a virtual death sentence for them.”
[Early day motion 204 (2014) –
DESTRUCTION OF PALESTINIAN HOMES IN THE WEST BANK BY ISRAEL
(Sponsors: McDonnell, John; Durkan, Mark; Bottomley, Peter; Mearns, Ian; Lavery, Ian)]
“That this House notes with concern that, despite being a clear and egregious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel recently announced that it will return to a policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinians suspected and convicted of involvement in terrorism and other violence; deplores and denounces the decision of the Netanyahu-led government in Israel for resuming this questionable practice which human rights group B’Tselem has stated harms only innocents and not the accused; further notes that in 2005 an Israeli military report concluded that the policy of punitive home demolitions did not act as an effective deterrent against terrorism; affirms Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that the destruction of private property is permitted only where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations; believes that the demolition of homes of innocent family members of people accused of crimes constitutes collective punishment; further believes that Israeli government statements on this matter exposes the absence of the rule of law under Israel’s occupation and that revenge, demonisation and absolute disregard for the lives and rights of the Palestinians under its control now defines Israeli activities in the occupied Palestinian Territories; urges the Government to condemn Israel’s actions as cruel, inhumane and a degrading punishment; calls for urgent action to be taken to oppose these policies; and further calls on the Government to pressure the State of Israel and ensure accountability for any violations that occur as a result of its renewal of demolitions.”
[Early Day Motion 250 (2014) – ISRAELI MILITARY STRIKES ON THE GAZA STRIP
(Primary sponsor: Morris, Grahame M.; Sponsors: Dobbin, Jim; Cryer, John; Hopkins, Kelvin; Lavery, Ian; Connarty, Michael)
“That this House regards Israel’s latest attack on the Gaza Strip, Operation Protective Edge, as a disproportionate escalation of violence against Palestinians; notes that since the end of Operation Cast Lead on 19 January 2009 Israel has killed 490 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip; calls for an immediate end to Israeli military strikes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and military incursions into Palestinian population centres in the West Bank, both of which constitute collective punishment and are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention; calls for an immediate end to retaliatory rocket attacks from Gaza; and urges Israel as the occupying power to de-escalate the conflict.”]
The Foreign Secretary has visited the Middle East where he met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He is also working with the US, EU and other Foreign Ministers to try to broker a lasting truce.
Britain’s influence in the Middle East is limited and all that we can do as a country is support diplomatic measures to try to broker a lasting truce.
President Obama has put out a press release saying that he phoned Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday to urge “an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now”.
Let’s hope these efforts succeed soon.
Alan Reid MP
95 Alexandra Parade, Dunoon, Argyll PA23 8AL
01369 704 840
alan. reid. mp @parliament. uk