Gaza

Responding to constituents' concerns about the crisis in Gaza, Dawn Primarolo this week wrote:

 

"I am writing further to our correspondence regarding the situation in Gaza and the very welcome ceasefire that has now been agreed. It must be hoped that this ceasefire can lead to a wider settlement and a permanent peace.

 

It is clearly vital that all sides fully respect the terms of that ceasefire. It is my understanding that these terms include the opening of the land border with Israel, the extension of the fishing area to six miles and access for reconstruction materials and humanitarian supplies.

 

However, the more challenging issues of opening up a deep water seaport, ending the aerial blockade and the freeing of Palestinian prisoners have yet to be agreed.

 

As you may be aware I opposed Israel's military incursion into Gaza. The appalling death toll of innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza - with an estimated 2,100 Palestinians killed and 11,000 injured - cannot be justified. Israel has a right to self-defence, but I fear that recent military action risks increasing the future threats to its security rather than countering them. It was disappointing that the Prime Minister did not follow the lead of Ed Miliband and oppose Israel's military actions in Gaza more clearly.

The immediate priority is the rebuilding of Gaza, the whole international community must ensure that the required humanitarian and other aid reaches the thousands of Palestinians in need. I would urge anyone who is able to contribute to the DEC Gaza appeal, donations can be made here.

Looking forward I believe that the British Government should be at the heart of international efforts to secure a lasting peace. The only route to lasting security and justice for both the Israeli and Palestinian people is through a negotiated two state solution."

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