UK Parliament debates Gaza crisis


The UK Parliament today debated the ongoing military attacks on Gaza.

You can read a copy of Richard’s speech online here.

Ahead of the debate Richard said:

‘Israel’s continuing massive military strikes on Gaza are an outrage. We are now almost three weeks into this conflict but what people in the UK and around the world are asking is not will the international community express its disapproval of what is happening to the people of Gaza, but when will we put a stop to it.

‘I have no doubt that the Foreign Secretary is genuinely making major efforts to secure a ceasefire on both sides and also to get the blockade of Gaza lifted so that the 1.5 million people of Gaza are not forced to continue to live in an impoverished prison. But we need to do more to demonstrate that we are serious.

‘In the last three weeks over 1,000 Palestinians have been killed – more than 300 of them children. This violence must be brought to an end.’

An Early Day Motion on Gaza was tabled by Richard when Parliament returned from the Christmas recess on Monday. In just three days this has been signed by 108 MPs across all three main political parties.

The EDM says:

‘That this House expresses outrage at Israel’s overwhelmingly disproportionate use of force in Gaza which continues to inflict massive civilian casualties, particularly amongst children and which has involved strikes on aid convoys, United Nations schools and medical personnel; calls for an immediate ceasefire including the end of Israel’s attacks on Gaza, the withdrawal of its troops and the cessation of rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel; calls for the demands of the Security Council to allow ‘the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including food, fuel and medical treatment’ to be implemented and for the end of the long term Israeli blockade of Gaza; calls on the UK to initiate proceedings, with the other High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention, to require the protection of civilians in times of war and to require accountability for military action which contravenes the Convention; calls for an arms embargo on both sides and for the remit of any international forces deployed to include protection of Palestinian civilians from blockade and attack as well as the prevention of arms supplies which threaten Israeli civilians; calls on the European Union to demonstrate that that the continued implementation of its Association Agreement with Israel is conditional on Israel’s respecting human rights; demands that Israel stops blocking international journalists from entering Gaza, and calls on the international community to redouble their efforts to achieve the lasting settlement of a secure and independent state of Palestine alongside a secure and independent Israel.’

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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