Tobias Ellwood, the Minister for the Middle East, has condemned violence which is taking place in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
In a statement he said:
“I condemn the appalling attacks against civilians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories this week. There can be no justification for terrorism. I am deeply concerned by the ongoing violence. This tragic situation only underlines the need to improve the situation on the ground and reach a long term resolution to the conflict”.
Joe Biden, the Vice-President of the United States also condemned the violence, saying:
“Let me say in no uncertain terms: The United States of America condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn these acts”.
The British Government has expressed concern over news that the Israeli Government has taken over land on the West Bank and defined it as ‘state land’. The taking of the 385 acres of land is the largest such declaration since 2014.
Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, said:
“The UK’s long-held position on Israeli settlements, and that of our international partners, is clear: they are illegal under international law, are an obstacle to peace and undermine the prospects for a two-state solution. The UK strongly opposes any moves which take us further away from an enduring peace settlement”.
A spokesman for the US State Department had already said:
“We strongly oppose any steps that could accelerate settlement expansion and we believe they’re fundamentally incompatible with a two-state solution and call into question frankly the Israeli government’s commitment to a two-state solution”.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has met at Downing Street today for talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel.
Downing Street said in a statement:
“The two leaders welcomed the growing economic ties between the UK and Israel, particularly the progress that had been made since the PM’s visit in a number of areas, including research and science, with an additional £3 million of new funding for bilateral medical research projects in 2017.
They agreed that cyber security was a vital issue, and that it had to be considered both in terms of threats and opportunities. They agreed to collaborate further, with a new package of co-operation covering training and joint exercises to prepare against cyber attacks. The UK will send a cyber business delegation to Israel in December to further strengthen this co-operation.
On the Middle East, both leaders reiterated their commitment to a two state resolution as the only way to secure lasting peace in the Middle East, and the Prime Minister emphasised the importance of improving daily life for the people of Gaza, for example through better power and water supplies and facilitating travel in and out of Gaza.
They also discussed the threat of Islamist extremism and agreed that both political and economic security was required for long term peace, and pledged to continue to work together to support fragile countries in North Africa.
On Iran, they recognised that while there were differences in their approach, both shared the objective of greater stability in the region, and agreed that it was in the interests of all that Iran allowed regular inspections of its nuclear facilities”.