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Backbench Business — Palestine and Israel

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 7:35 pm on 13th October 2014.

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Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 7:35 pm, 13th October 2014

I will make a little progress and then I will give way. Our commitment to that vision is why the UK is a leading donor to the Palestinian Authority and such a strong supporter of their state-building efforts. We are providing almost £350 million between 2011 and 2015 to build Palestinian institutions, deliver essential services and relieve the humanitarian situation. We commend the leadership of President Abbas and Prime Minister Hamdallah, whom I met last week, and their commitment to security co-operation and institutional reform. Despite that commitment, however, and the support of donors such as the UK, the aspirations of the Palestinian people cannot be fully realised until there is an end to the occupation—a point that Mr Straw just made—and we believe that that will come only through negotiations. That is why, following the Cairo conference, the urgency was recognised, and the UK hopes that a serious process can urgently resume. It is time to readdress these issues, and only an end to the occupation will ensure that Palestinian statehood becomes a reality on the ground. The UK will bilaterally recognise a Palestinian state when we judge that that can best help bring about peace.