On the anniversary of the 2014 attacks on Gaza, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and the Council for Arab-British Understanding (Caabu) have released a new report on UK Parliament's engagement with Palestine during 2010-2015.
The 2010-2015 parliamentary term saw considerable challenges, including two military operations in Gaza, the escalating conflict in Syria, and the continued expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank. The report, 'Britain and Palestine: A Parliamentary Focus 2010-2015', highlights how issues facing Palestinians, including conflict, occupation and displacement, have continued to a foreign policy priority for the UK Parliament.
Introducing the report, MAP President Baroness Morris of Bolton highlighted the importance of Palestinian statehood recognition, supported by UK Parliament in a symbolic vote in October 2014: "Recognition will bolster those Palestinians who believe that the path of non-violence will lead to a state coming into being through diplomacy and democratic expression, not destruction, a state which lives side-by-side with Israel in peace and prosperity."
From 2010-2015 MAP and Caabu took 55 British politicians on delegations to Palestine and Palestinian refugee Communities in the Middle East, in conjunction wit the British-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). Delegates included Cabinet ministers such as Jack Straw, Andy Burnham, Liam Byrne, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, and Dame Tessa Jowell; a former Home Office minister, Nick Herbert, and Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna.
On the value of these delegations in giving a first-class intensive examination of the issues impacting on the peace process and Palestinians living under occupation and blockade, Caabu Director Chris Doyle writes: "The overwhelming majority of delegates return energised by what they have seen and with a sense of duty to address the injustices they have witnessed. More than anything, there is a desperate need to find new ways to resolve this protracted conflict."
You can read the full report here.
Caabu and MAP wish to thank the Sir Joseph Hotung Charitable Settlement for funding the delegations.
A list of other reports and resources of the war on Gaza in 2014 can also be found here.
The previous report from Medical Aid for Palestinians and Caabu on Parliament and Palestine can be read here.
The report was launched at a major reception in Parliament on 8 July attended by MPs and Lords from all parties, and addressed by the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK, HE Manual Hassassian.