Today I joined MPs from all parties in a minute’s silence in the House of Commons for the victims of the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel and the civilians who have been killed in Gaza.
Last Saturday, Israel suffered terrorism on an unimaginable scale – the senseless murder innocent of men, women, children and even babies. I want to say clearly that Israel has a right to defend itself.
As long as Hamas has the capability to carry out attacks on Israeli territory, there is no safety for people living in Israel. In the Commons today Keir Starmer set out that Israel’s defence must be conducted in accordance with international law. Civilians must not be targeted and there must be humanitarian corridors and relief, including food, water, electricity and medicines. Hamas are not the Palestinian people and the Palestinian people are not Hamas.
Antisemitic and Islamophobic abuse, threats and assaults have no place in Plymouth or anywhere else. I know that we will choose community over division, as our city always does. So please do report unacceptable behaviour if you see it. I will and I hope you will too.
I want to extend my gratitude also to our service personnel who have been deployed to support humanitarian and intelligence efforts in the region. Theirs is the ultimate public service.
We cannot be deterred from the pursuit of peace and a two state solution.
A safe and secure Israel alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state is the only way to resolve the crisis. Hamas want to derail any attempt at peace. Hamas don’t care about the Palestinian people. Terror cannot win.