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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

Under the Balfour declaration, it was always envisaged that Israel would have a small part one side of the river and the Arabs would have the other part. There are many second and third generation Palestinians living there today.

We have heard a lot of criticism of the state of Israel today, but where is the same outrage about the massacre of thousands of Palestinians in the Syrian city of Yarmouk at the hands of Assad’s regime? Last year, I voted for intervention because of Assad’s chemical weapons and most hon. Members voted against it. What about the ongoing exclusion of and discrimination against Palestinians in Lebanon, where women are not allowed to be married to a refugee for fear of integration?

Julie Elliott said that only a few Israelis were killed whereas more than 1,000 Palestinians were killed, but if the Israelis had not had an Iron Dome system, hundreds of thousands of Israelis would have been killed by the hundreds of missiles that Hamas fired into the state of Israel. Should we not condemn Hamas for firing the 11,000 rockets, using Palestinians, their own citizens, as human shields, and wasting millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to build tunnels from Gaza into Israel to send terrorists and suicide bombers across the border?

As I said, I support a Palestinian state and a free middle east, free from terror and free from Hamas, al-Qaeda and ISIS. An enlightened middle east that has real liberty—something I thought that my hon. Friend Sir Edward Leigh believed in—with the rule of law, genuine elections, property rights, religious tolerance, equality for women and the rejection of terrorism. I therefore support an enlightened Palestinian state after negotiation alongside a secure and democratic Israel, free from Hamas, free from Islamic Jihad and living in peaceful co-existence.