Thank you for contacting me about the Israel-Hamas conflict.
The events unfolding in Israel are truly horrifying. I join the UK Government in wholly condemning the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that began on 7 October, and in standing resolutely with Israel as it seeks to defend itself against these atrocities. My thoughts are with those affected, especially the families of those civilians who have been murdered.
The terrorist attacks launched by Hamas on 7 October are abhorrent and unprecedented, and I welcome that the Prime Minister and the UK Foreign Secretary have emphasised the UK’s unequivocal support for Israel to their Israeli counterparts respectively. The Foreign Secretary also visited Israel on 11 October, witnessing first-hand the devastation caused by Hamas and meeting with Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen to reaffirm the UK’s steadfast support. I know that close engagement with Israel will of course continue as the situation develops.
Discussions with leaders across the globe have also been ongoing, as the UK Government works to ensure that the world speaks with one voice in opposition to these brutal attacks. The Prime Minister has already issued a joint statement with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and the United States, to express the UK’s coordinated and united support for Israel with these allies, and ultimately, a joint commitment to setting the conditions for a peaceful and integrated Middle East. The Foreign Secretary has also spoken with the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, and with the Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Oman and Qatar, to encourage them to help reduce tensions.
During his call with the Palestinian Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary urged the Palestinian Authority to condemn the terrorist attacks and cooperate with the Israeli security forces, to prevent any further violence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The UK recognises the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, and supports equal measures of justice and freedoms for Israelis and Palestinians alike. However, Hamas does not represent those aspirations; it offers nothing for the Palestinian people other than more terror and more bloodshed.
I also welcome that the Prime Minister has made clear his commitment to ensuring that the Jewish community in the UK feels safe and secure at this incredibly difficult time.
This is a fast-moving situation, and I will be following developments closely.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP