Thank you for contacting me about issues concerning the Palestinian people.
I share the UK Government’s commitment to a two-state solution, where two equal and sovereign states, Palestine and Israel, live side by side in peace and mutual respect.
The situation on the ground has deteriorated over recent years and a sustainable resolution is long overdue. The UK continues to urge Israel and the Palestinian Authority to engage in substantive peace talks and resume direct negotiations towards a just and durable two-state solution, and I have been assured that the UK has a regular dialogue with many parties on this important issue.
It is important that the barriers to peace are addressed. The UK's position on Israeli settlements is clear. They are illegal under international law, present an obstacle to peace and threaten the physical viability of a two-state solution. I join my colleagues in Government in continuing to urge Israel to halt settlement expansion immediately. I am also concerned by the continued demolitions of Palestinian structures by Israeli authorities. Demolitions and evictions of Palestinians from their homes cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, call into question Israel's commitment to a viable two-state solution, and, in all but the most exceptional of cases, are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.
More broadly, the UK has consistently been among UNRWA’s top donors, and has recently significantly increased its financial contribution to UNRWA in light of the organisation’s funding difficulties. The UK contribution will help to deliver essential services, including healthcare and education for millions of Palestinian refugees.
I know that the UK consistently calls for an immediate end to all actions that undermine the viability of the two-state solution and is encouraging both sides to maintain calm and avoid taking actions which make peace more difficult to achieve.