Many Luton South constituents have contacted me about the horrific conflict in Israel and Palestine. I assure you that I am working in Westminster to support a positive resolution. I had hoped to speak in the Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament this afternoon, to put on record that I share my constituents’ concerns, but unfortunately was not selected by The Speaker.
I am hugely concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. It’s devastating to see Palestinian children, men and women being killed in Gaza. At the time of writing, over 2,750 Palestinians have died, including at least 750 children. Under International Law, Israel has a duty to allow humanitarian access to Gaza, and continued supplies of food, water, electricity and medicines.
There must be the creation of safe corridors within Gaza. However, evacuation is not a viable option for many, given that over half of the population are children and there are many elderly, disabled and injured people in Gaza. It is vital that the Israeli military operation recognises this. The Labour Party is speaking to the United Nations, non-governmental organisations and the UK Government about how Palestinian civilians in Gaza can be protected.
I wholeheartedly condemn the horrific attack committed by Hamas that killed over 1,400 Israelis and join calls for hostages to be released immediately. Hamas terrorists are not the same as the Palestinian people and do not represent their legitimate right to dignity, freedom, justice, and self-determination.
There can be no justification for the murder of innocent men, women and children. My thoughts are with all the families who are grieving and with all those families who are fearing for the lives of their loved ones. The Labour Party remains committed to pursuing a two-state solution, a secure Israel and a peaceful Palestine.
I am also concerned about reports of increasing Islamophobic and antisemitic incidents in the UK over the last week. There must be zero tolerance for any intimidation and harassment directed towards Muslims or Jewish people here in Luton and across the UK. Please report any incidents of hate crime to CST and TellMama.