I recently received several emails from constituents about the Israel and Palestine debate on Wednesday 5 July. Unfortunately, due to other parliamentary commitments, I was unable to attend the debate.

However, I will be writing to Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, as I too believe the UK must make further progress in their opposition to Israel’s illegal settlements. The Foreign Secretary has rightfully condemned plans by the Israeli government to build 3,000 illegal settlement units in the West Bank, yet, more must be done. The next step should be for the government not just say that the settlements are illegal, they must also treat them like they are illegal.

I also believe that the government must commit to a thorough review of all UK financial relationships with any illegal settlements. This includes the Israeli agricultural produce that is sold to the UK which is, at times, grown on the illegal settlements. Additionally, the activity of UK companies in the West Bank must also be monitored much more comprehensively. A review of financial relationships and perhaps a ban on the importation of settlement products to the UK will be a big step in the right direction.

As I have already stated, I will be writing to the Foreign Secretary about this matter. If any response is received, I will update this blog.

For now, I have included two videos and links to previous statements and posts that outline my longstanding position on the Israel and Palestine debate.

A short video I made following my meeting with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Lobby:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFufN238uwo

Here is an interview filmed with comedian, writer and campaigner Alexei Sayle:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndPFQBz4Cuk

In 2015, I went on three-day fact-finding mission to Palestine. You can read more about the trip and find links to my report here.