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Backbench Business — Palestine and Israel

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 8:40 pm on 13th October 2014.

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Photo of Bob Stewart Bob Stewart Conservative, Beckenham 8:40 pm, 13th October 2014

I entirely endorse what my hon. Friend says.

I have had to deal with terrorist organisations of one form or other, whether the Provisional IRA, the Irish National Liberation Army, Protestant extremist groups or even terrorist gangs in the Balkans. Too many soldiers under my command have been killed by fanatics for me not to be very serious about this problem. I loathe the way that terrorists act and their politics of guns, explosives and rockets.

Now if Hamas was to renounce violence and stop attacking innocent people in Israel, which in fairness, for a while, it did a few years ago, I would be much less vexed. Like so many of us in the Chamber, I have very mixed feelings about the motion. We all want to see a state called Palestine, but can I support a Government linked to terrorism? In theory, I should not, but in practice can I? After all, I can think of several well established states that support terrorism—away from their own territory, of course—which our Government already fully recognise and, indeed, support, despite this knowledge. So I wonder, why should we not support the Palestinians, too? Despite my aversion to the terrorism practised by elements of Hamas, I have decided that it is time that this Parliament should fully endorse the move to Palestinian statehood. I will be voting for the motion in the hope that it brings closer a peaceful settlement in the wonderful Levant.