Thank you to the hundreds of constituents who have contacted me regarding the horrific situation in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank as well as the recent parliamentary debate on calls for a ceasefire. I recognise the very strongly-held views which people hold on this issue and the grief expressed by communities in Lewisham East, in the United Kingdom, and across the world.

My statement below addresses a wide range of issues which constituents have contacted me about regarding with the situation in Israel and Palestine. Five have featured most prominently and I respond to these in turn: calls for a ceasefire; international law; humanitarian assistance; work towards a two-state solution; and the situation in the West Bank.

Only a small number of constituents have raised concerns with me regarding the procedures followed in the House of Commons during the debate and vote held on 21st February 2024. In my view, the vast majority of people are, rightly, concerned primarily with the plight of those who have had loved ones killed or taken hostage as well as those facing horrific conditions in Gaza. Issues around parliamentary procedure are a separate consideration which should not distract from the urgent need to stop the fighting and alleviate the suffering which has brought so much pain and destruction.

The debate and vote resulted in a comprehensive motion being passed which called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire alongside a range of additional measures required to respond to the situation in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. I supported this and I welcome that this passed in the House of Commons.

Constituents should note this is my most up-to-date statement and was published on 19 March 2024. I will issue further statements regarding the situation in Israel and Palestine as the situation evolves.


I want an immediate humanitarian ceasefire which is observed by all sides.

When Parliament debated calls for a ceasefire on 21st February 2024, over 29,000 Palestinians in Gaza had been killed with the majority being women and children. The loss of civilian life during this conflict has been tragic and intolerable. Sadly, it continues to rise while the rest of Gaza’s civilian population face a humanitarian catastrophe.

Suggestions by the Israeli government that it plans to launch a ground offensive in Rafah, where 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering, are profoundly worrying. Launching a ground offensive would be a moral catastrophe, a humanitarian disaster, and a strategic mistake. I therefore call on the Government to make clear to Israel that there must be no ground offensive in Rafah.

The bloodshed and suffering must end. That is why, ahead of the debate in Parliament, I added my name to Labour’s amendment which called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire alongside a comprehensive list of other measures. This included the condemnation of terrorism by Hamas, the release and return of hostages, the rapid and unimpeded provision of humanitarian aid, an end to settler violence and expansion, and the establishment of a diplomatic process to deliver a two-state solution. You can read the amendment in full here.

I believe Labour’s amendment was the most comprehensive proposition put before the House of Commons. I was therefore pleased that, despite confusion following the debate, this amendment was passed. I will continue to call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire alongside further steps, some of which I address later in this statement, to bring the hostilities and suffering to an end.

International Law

From the start of the conflict, I have been consistently clear that any action taken must be done in accordance with international law. I continue to firmly believe this.

Allegations of breaches of international law should be treated with the utmost seriousness and must always be investigated. Assessing specific allegations is the proper task of lawyers and competent international courts.

In response to the ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the case of South Africa v. Israel, I issued a statement which made clear my belief that Israel must comply fully with the orders set out by the ICJ. You can read this statement in full here.

I reiterate this call for Israel to comply with the orders set out. I was pleased that Labour’s amendment made this clear where the original motion, put forward by the SNP, did not refer to the ICJ ruling nor to international law more widely. I therefore welcome that Labour’s amendment was passed in the House of Commons.

Humanitarian Assistance & Siege Conditions

Gaza is facing a humanitarian catastrophe with not enough food, water, fuel, electricity, and medicines making their way to civilians. On 20 February 2024, the World Food Programme announced its decision to pause deliveries of food aid to northern Gaza until conditions are in place for the safe distribution of assistance. This is contributing to enormous suffering and requires urgent attention by the United Kingdom and its international partners.

There is also concern that visas for humanitarian workers operating in Gaza and the West Bank have either expired or are due to expire. No visas have been renewed since the outbreak of the conflict which means humanitarian workers may face deportation. I call on the British government to make it clear to its Israeli counterparts that humanitarian visas must be renewed.

From the start of this conflict, I have called on Israel to lift the siege conditions and allow the safe, unhindered and regular flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza. I continue to call for this as a matter of urgency.

Labour’s amendment demanded the urgent provision of humanitarian relief to Gaza whilst the original motion did not refer to this point. The humanitarian crisis engulfing Gaza makes it essential that any motion stipulates the need for humanitarian assistance. I was therefore pleased that Labour’s amendment was passed in the House of Commons.

More widely, I believe there is more that the United Kingdom can do to support the delivery of humanitarian aid. This includes additional government funding, preparing for the deployment of British experts and medical support teams to Gaza, and the appointment of a UK Special Coordinator for International Aid to Gaza. I continue to call on the Government to ramp up its distribution of aid and support to civilians in Gaza.

Two-State Solution

For too long, there has been insufficient attention on realising the prospect of a two-state solution. That is why, since the outbreak of the conflict, I have consistently called for a renewed focus on a two-state solution as the only means of guaranteeing the safety and security of both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples.

In my view, it is essential that a political road to peace is part of any ceasefire so that it stands the best chance of enduring and so that hostilities do not resume. Sustained diplomatic efforts must be undertaken by the United Kingdom and its international partners to salvage the ambition of a two-state solution. Without it, neither Israelis nor Palestinians have a path to safety, justice and opportunity in lands that they can call their own.

It is through diplomacy that we will ultimately secure an end to this war. It is my firm belief that recognition of a Palestinian state must be a contribution to, rather than an outcome of, this process. Labour’s amendment recognised this and I was pleased that this was passed in the House of Commons.

Put simply, statehood is an inalienable right of the Palestinian people rather than something in the gift of a neighbour. The Government must recognise this as it engages with international counterparts on discussions around a two-state solution.

West Bank

2023 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since casualty records began. The displacement of Palestinians due to air strikes, evictions and demolitions is responsible for the further deterioration of already-painful conditions.

I condemn violence and extremism by Israeli settlers and want the Israeli government to prevent this and to ensure accountability for perpetrators. I have raised this in the House of Commons and called on the British government to condemn such violence and extremism. I was therefore pleased that Labour’s amendment called for an end to settler violence and expansion, and that this passed in the House of Commons.

As an occupying power, Israel must meet its obligations under international law. It must not withhold tax revenues from the Palestinian Authority and the United Kingdom should ban the entry of anyone identified as being involved in serious criminal activity or in fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the United Kingdom.

On 27 February 2024, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority announced the resignation of his government, and this was accepted by President Abbas. Following this, the Foreign Office stated that it stands ready to provide support to the Palestinian Authority. I believe that, in this context, it is vital that British diplomatic efforts work towards strengthening and reforming the Palestinian Authority as part of a stabilised West Bank.

Other Statements

In addition to this statement, I have recently published statements on the UN Relief and Works Agency which can be read in full here and on the issue of UK arms exports to Israel which can be viewed in full here.

Support for Relatives in Gaza

For any constituents with relatives in Gaza who may require my assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me on

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