Five Sheffield MPs urge government to intervene amid violence in Israel and Gaza

Five Sheffield MPs sent a letter to the foreign secretary urging the government to use “all its influence” to intervene in the increasing violence and unrest in Israel and Gaza.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 4:56 pm

Olivia Blake (Sheffield Hallam), Paul Blomfield (Sheffield Central), Clive Betts (Sheffield South East), Louise Haigh (Sheffield Heeley) and Gill Furniss (Hillsborough and Brightside) signed the letter calling for action amid civilian deaths including children.

Ms Blake, who coordinated the letter, said: “Now is the time for the UK Government to use all its influence to seek a peaceful resolution which must involve respect for human rights and international law.”

The letter, sent to Dominic Raab, said: “We urge you to condemn all attacks on civilians, and call for Israeli police and security forces to stop their use of violence on worshippers at the Al Aqsa mosque, end the air bombardment of Gaza and take immediate steps to halt all illegal home invasions and violence in Sheikh Jarrah.

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Louise Haigh MP.

“More broadly, the Israeli Government must also halt the construction of settlement buildings in Givat HaMatos and the Har Homa area of the occupied West Bank. The settlements violate international law, entrench division, and seriously undermine the prospects for a viable Palestinian state.

“We urge you to call on the Israeli Government to end these illegal settlements, and to honour its human rights obligations both in relation to the ongoing occupation of the West Bank and the illegal blockade of Gaza.”

The MPs calls joined others across the political spectrum in Yorkshire.

Dominic Raab tweeted to say he had spoken to leaders on both sides and was “appealing for calm” and “de-escalation of the violence on all sides”.