Statement from Harriet Harman on the continued violence in Gaza

"Mr Speaker, turning to the horror which is unfolding in Gaza... 

It's intolerable to see the harrowing images of hospitals overwhelmed, mortuaries overflowing, and parents devastated as they cradle their dying children.

Yesterday the world stood witness to the most bloodstained day.

Since the start of this conflict 20 Israelis have been killed - 18 of them soldiers.  

508 Palestinians have been killed - including countless children.  Mr Speaker, innocent young children.  Their short lives ended in the most brutal and horrific of circumstances.  No parent should ever have to go through the horror of burying a child whose life has been ended by violence.

No-one would suggest reducing this conflict to a leger of casualties - but I'm sure the whole House would agree we must acknowledge the scale of the suffering in Gaza. Because the life of a Palestinian child is worth just as much as the life of an Israeli child.

Every death will fuel the hatred, embolden Israel's enemies and recruit more supporters to terrorist groups like Hamas

We stand up for Israel's right to defend itself.  But this escalation will not bring Israel lasting security.

Does he agree with the Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki Moon that:

  • we must continue to press for an immediate ceasefire;
  • an immediate end to the Israeli military operation in Gaza;
  • and an immediate end to rocket fire by Hamas; and
  • that all sides must respect international humanitarian law and that Israel must exercise maximum restraint?

What is his view of the reports suggesting that Israel is using of flechette shells?

Does he agree that the only way to avoid the cycle of violence and perpetual insecurity in the region is to address the root causes of the conflict, and that there must be an immediate return to the negotiating table and talks for a two state solution.

In the words of Ban Ki Moon, "Israelis but also Palestinians need to feel a sense of security.  Palestinians but also Israelis need to see a horizon of hope"?"



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