British MPs have highlighted Israeli government extremism towards Palestinians, including recent remarks from Israel's far right extremist Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich about wiping out the Palestinian town of Huwara and denying the existence of Palestinians, and called for a ban on trade with illegal Israeli settlements, in an Urgent Question on 23 March 2023, secured by Scottish National Party MP, Anum Qaisar. It comes with the arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in London and publication of the 2030 roadmap for UK-Israel bilateral relations. Many Parliamentarians who have been on Caabu delegations spoke in this Urgent Question.
The Urgent Question was: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs if he will make a statement on talks to de-escalate the violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Minister, Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan responded on behalf of the UK Government.
The whole debate can be read here and watched here from 11:08. Videos of some of the contributions can be found below.
Anum Qaisar MP, who secured the Urgent Question, spoke about the 1,000 Palestinians at risk of imminent forced dispossession in Masafer Yatta which would constitute a war crime, Amnesty International report on Israel perpetrating the crime of apartheid against Palestinians, the comments by far right extremist Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich about wiping out the Palestinian town of Huwara and denying the existence of the Palestinian people, the lack of accountability following the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the continued systematic and calculated discrimination against Palestinians in occupied territory.
Caabu board member Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP called for the protection of Palestinians given the extremist nature of this Israeli government.
Labour MP Andy Slaughter said that the UK Government's business-as-usual approach with the Israeli government legitimises the extremism and extremists within it
The Labour Party's Shadow Middle East Minister Bambos Charalambous MP spoke about the far right extremist elements of this Israeli government, including the comments made by far right extremist Finance Minister Belazel Smotrich, denying the existence of the Palestinian people.
The Scottish National Party (SNP)'s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Drew Hendry MP called on the UK to ban trade with illegal Israeli settlements and spoke about the vote in the Israeli Parliament to allow Israeli settlers to occupy four sites in occupied Palestinian territory.
Labour MP Andy McDonald also demanded that the UK government banned illegal Israeli settlements and trade with them.
Speaking about the publication of the 2030 roadmap for UK-Israel bilateral relations, Labour MP Marsha De Cordova asked whether it was compatible with international law and whether it distinguishes between green line Israel and illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.
Seema Malhotra MP urged the UK government to act against illegal Israeli annexation of occupied Palestinian territory.