'International community must give generously after conflict'

The Israeli West Bank barrier between Jerusalem (right) and Bethany (left).

The Israeli West Bank barrier between Jerusalem (right) and Bethany (left) - Credit: PA

I have received over 3,100 emails since the events at Al-Aqsa Mosque on  May 7. I am grateful to every constituent who has taken the trouble to get in touch about the situation in Gaza and Israel.

Places of worship should always be treated with respect. I have asked the government to commit to protecting peaceful worshippers of all religions. 

MP Stephen Timms says the support from groups during the pandemic has been crucial.

MP Stephen Timms says household overcrowding has made it harder to weather the pandemic - Credit: Archant

I am also deeply concerned about the wider situation in East Jerusalem. There can be no prospect of long-term peace until Palestinians, like Israelis, can enjoy their own sovereign state in which they feel secure in their homes.

I therefore continue to call on the UK government to recognise the state of Palestine. Parliament voted by a large majority in 2014 to do this, but the government has so far refused.

With a ceasefire in place, our attention must turn to repairing the damage. Tragically, bombing by the Israeli military and Hamas caused the deaths of about 70 children in Gaza and in Israel.

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The international community must give generously to tackle the tsunami of need, grief, and mental ill health caused by this most recent conflict.

I will continue to hold the government to account on this.

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