A cross party group of UK MPs have issued a call for an immediate ceasefire in the Middle East. 56 MPs have signed the statement so far which was published today in the Guardian newspaper. It is expected that more will add their names over the next few days.
The statement calls for an immediate cessation to violence by all sides, for the release of unlawfully held prisoners by Israel, Hizbollah and Palestinian militias, and for the realisation of the two state solution in Israel and Palestine.
As Members of the United Kingdom Parliament we condemn both the Hizbollah rocket attacks which had killed 17 civilians in Israel by 25 July, and the disproportionate Israeli military strikes which in the last few weeks have killed over 370 civilians and displaced over 500,000 in Lebanon, and killed over 100 in Gaza.
Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority all have the right to defend their lawful territories and to protect their peoples from attack.
Rocket attacks by militias on Israeli towns do not protect the people of Palestine or Lebanon. Likewise the people of Israel are not protected by military might which targets homes, bridges and roads in Lebanon, cuts electricity and water supplies to the majority of homes in Gaza, including refugee camps, and which has done far more damage to Lebanon’s democratically elected government than it has to Hizbollah. Such actions are unacceptable, immoral and illegal.
As a High Contracting Party to the 4th Geneva Convention, the UK Government has a particular responsibility to uphold and ensure universal respect for international humanitarian law. We also call on the entire international community to press for an immediate ceasefire by all parties; to help secure the release of prisoners held unlawfully whether by Israel, Hizbollah or by Palestinian militias; and to take even handed steps to secure the implementation all UN Security Council Resolutions concerning the Middle East, including the realisation of a viable Palestinian state alongside an Israel secure in its lawful borders.
2. The signatories of the statement as of 26 July are:
Richard Burden MP, Andy Love MP, Phyllis Starkey MP, Crispin Blunt MP, Colin Breed MP, Rob Marris MP, Nick Harvey MP, John Austin MP, Brian Iddon MP, Sadiq Khan MP, Sandra Osborne MP, David Drew MP, Greg Pope MP, Lynne Jones MP, John Hemming MP, Ann McKechin MP, Joan Ruddock MP, Stephen Williams MP, Harry Cohen MP, Roger Berry MP, Ian Gibson MP, David Lepper MP, Tom Levitt MP, Helen Goodman MP, Janet Dean MP, Alan Whitehead MP, Bob Russell MP, Diane Abbott MP, Brian Jenkins MP, Peter Bottomley MP, John Leech MP, Martin Caton MP, Paul Truswell MP, Derek Wyatt MP, John Grogan MP, Jim Dowd MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Phil Willis MP, Mike Hancock MP, Eric Illsley MP, Dr Hywel Francis MP, Clive Betts MP, Martin Salter MP, Jeff Ennis MP, Richard Younger-Ross MP, Dave Anderson MP, Tom Brake MP, Kerry McCarthy MP, Shahid Malik MP, Jim Dobbin MP, Nicholas Soames MP, Emily Thornberry MP, Kelvin Hopkins MP, Hywel Williams MP.