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29th Jun, 2022

Gaza protest spurs on MP's action call

Worcester Editorial 22nd Jul, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

WORCESTER’S MP has called on the Prime Minister to use “every diplomatic tool in the box” to de-escalate the violence in Gaza.

Robin Walker intervened as David Cameron was making a statement about the Israeli invasion and called for action to bring both sides to the negotiating table.

It came after Mr Walker met hundreds of people outside the Guildhall last Friday (July 18) who had gathered to express their concerns about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

While he did not take part in the protest he took away their concerns and relayed them in Parliament.

“I am sure that everyone in the House wants an end to rocket attacks, but on Friday I met literally hundreds of my constituents – people from mosques, churches, and people of no religion at all – who had taken to the streets of Worcester because of their deep concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” he said.

“May I urge the Prime Minister, on their behalf and mine, to use every diplomatic tool in the box to impress on both sides in this conflict the need to bring about a ceasefire, come to the table and work towards a long-term peace?”

The Prime Minister then replied: “That is absolutely what we are doing.

“In particular, we are pushing this Egyptian ceasefire plan, to which others are prepared to sign up.

“We need Hamas to sign up to it, too. When we get to the talks process, we need to press Hamas to accept the Quartet principles, which include Israel’s right to exist. It is difficult to negotiate with an organisation that does not accept that the country with which we are negotiating has any right to exist.”

Mr Walker visited the Palestinian territories in 2011 when he travelled to the West Bank and met with spokesmen from both sides in the long running conflict as well as a number of well-known human rights groups.

Following discussions with a wide range of constituents including church groups, Muslim men and women and a number of local councillors, he has now written to the Foreign Office to raise their detailed concerns.

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