Israel: Palestinians

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 29 April 2024.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Labour, Hayes and Harlington

To ask the Deputy Foreign Secretary, with reference to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister in response to the the hon. Member for Liverpool Riverside during the Oral Statement of 15 April 2024 on Iran-Israel Update, Official Report, column 54, for what reason the United Kingdom abstained on the vote on admitting a Palestinian state as a full member of the United Nations on 18 April 2024.

Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Minister of State (Minister for Europe)

As the Prime Minister made clear, the UK supports a two-state solution that guarantees security and stability for both the Israeli and Palestinian people.

We agree that the people of the West Bank and Gaza must be given the political perspective of a credible route to a Palestinian state and a new future. And it needs to be irreversible.

We believe that recognition of Palestinian statehood should not come at the start of a new process, but it does not have to be at the very end of the process.

We must start with fixing the immediate crisis in Gaza.Gaza is Occupied Palestinian Territory and must be part of a future Palestinian state. However, Hamas is still in control of parts of Gaza and Israeli hostages remain in captivity - this shows that we are still at the start of the process.

Ensuring Hamas is no longer in charge of Gaza and removing Hamas' capacity to launch attacks against Israel are essential and unavoidable steps on the road to lasting peace; as is working together to support the new Palestinian government as it takes much-needed steps on reform and resumes governance in Gaza as well as the West Bank.

We abstained on the vote at the UN Security Council because we must keep our focus on securing an immediate pause in order to get aid in and hostages out; then making progress towards a sustainable ceasefire without a return to destruction, fighting and loss of life.

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