Israel: the West Bank, the Settlements and the US Peace Plan

Thank you for contacting me about Israel, the West Bank and the US proposals for a peace deal.

The UK Government's longstanding position on the Middle East Peace Process is clear: there should be a negotiated settlement leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, based on 1967 borders with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states, and a fair and realistic settlement for refugees. The UK Government consistently calls for an immediate end to all actions that, in its view, undermine the viability of the two-state solution.

The UK Government’s position has not changed, including towards the West Bank and the 1967 borders. The UK Government repeatedly reaffirms this commitment, including most recently at the UN Security Council, and will continue to do so.

The UK Government is concerned by possible Israeli moves towards annexation and believe that any such unilateral moves would be damaging to the renewed efforts to restart peace negotiations, and contrary to international law. In the Government's view no changes to the status quo can be made without an agreement negotiated by the parties themselves and our Government has joined others in calling for a meaningful return to negotiations by all concerned parties.

Trade with Israeli Settlements

The UK Government’s position on Israeli settlements is clear: they are illegal under international law and damaging to renewed efforts to launch peace negotiations. That being said, the UK, along with a number of other European countries opposed the creation of the UN’s business and human rights database. The UK Government neither encourages nor offers support to individuals or companies who operate in settlements in the Disputed Territories.

US Middle East Peace Plan  

I welcome any initiative that gets both sides around the negotiating table. The absence of dialogue creates a vacuum that only fuels instability and leads to the drifting of the two sides further and further apart. I would encourage both sides to give the US plan genuine and fair consideration to understand whether it might prove a useful first step on the road back to negotiations.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Craig Whittaker MP

May 2020