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Backbench Business — Palestine and Israel

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 8:29 pm on 13th October 2014.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Conservative, Harlow 8:29 pm, 13th October 2014

On those grounds, would the hon. Gentleman recognise ISIL? I think not.

When we look at the facts, it will be clear to this Parliament that recognising a Palestinian state in the status quo without a peace agreement would mean acknowledging a society that respects only the rule of force.

The first condition to the recognition of a Palestinian state needs to be that it is based on fully democratic and peaceful principles. As the Palestinian Authority is ready to co-operate with Hamas and to rule alongside it, we cannot be honest and democratic in recognising the Palestinian state.

I agree that there should be a Palestinian state. In fact, not many realise that there is already a Palestinian state called Jordan. It was created by the British in 1921 and was originally called Transjordan. After the 1948-49 war against the newly created state of Israel, the Jordanian monarch, Abdullah, even called himself the King of Jordan and Palestine, as his country controlled the west bank.

The vast majority of Arabs currently in Jordan are in fact Palestinians ruled by a monarch from the Hashemite minority. Before the 1967 six-day war when Israel defeated the Arab invasion and took control of the west bank and Gaza, which had been under the arm of Egypt, there had never been demands from Palestinians in the disputed territories for a second Palestinian state, as they were under Jordanian rule.

In today’s motion to recognise a second Palestinian state, Grahame M. Morris overlooks the fact that the Palestinians in the west bank and the Palestinians in Gaza are ruled by entirely different entities—the more moderate Fatah and the terrorist organisation Hamas. If we are not careful, we could end up with three Palestinian states, or to be precise one state and two statelets: one controlled by the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan, the eastern borders of which are now threatened by ISIS; one controlled by Fatah in the west bank; and one controlled by Hamas in Gaza.