The occupation of East Jerusalem has no legal basis and the takeover of Palestinian homes in Sheikh Jarrah cannot be legal under International Law. This includes the illegal Israeli settlements built in and around Sheikh Jarrah – building on occupied territories is illegal under international law.
In 2010 I visited Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem and met a family who at that point were being thrown out of their home by an Israeli government-backed plan allowing settlers to take over other peoples’ houses.
I fully condemn the illegal takeover of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. The suffering experienced by people who are forcibly evicted from their land and homes is an outrage and the act of expulsion itself is criminal.
In June 2020 I signed an early day motion (EDM) condemning the eviction of the Sumerin family from their East Jerusalem Home. In February this year I signed a Britain-Palestinian All Party Parliamentary Group open letter to Dominic Raab, Secretary of State, urging him to insist that Israel stop the illegal evictions and to take further diplomatic and trade actions if they didn’t.
Just last weekend I spoke out publicly, during a demonstration in London, against the terrible things that are happening in the occupied territories, including Sheikh Jarrah, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Gaza.
I also spoke out in Parliament calling for an end to the occupation, an end to the siege of Gaza and for assurance of peace in the future, something I have called for in and out of Parliament for years.
I continue to use social media and other outlets (Double Down News and Al Jazeera among them) to make it clear that the escalation of hostilities in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are a direct result of the home invasions by government-backed settlers in Sheikh Jarrah.
As a member of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, I’ve signed an open letter to the Government, calling on it to:
• Demand an end to the siege of Gaza and the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory
• Impose sanctions on Israel for its repeated violations of international law, place an embargo on arms sales and end trade with illegal settlements
• Demonstrate full support for the international Criminal Court’s opening of an investigation into alleged war crimes in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories
• Recognise the state of Palestine
The theft of land and homes in the West Bank, outside of the 1967 borders, is a continuing and illegal endeavour designed to thwart any chance of a Palestinian state. You can be sure that I will continue to raise the plight of the Palestinians in and out of Parliament.
We must stay active and engaged on this very serious situation.