Second statement on Gaza (October 2023)

"I join the U.K. Government in continuing to express my steadfast and united support to Israel, and unequivocal condemnation of Hamas and its barbaric acts of terrorism against the Israeli people. Hamas does not speak for or act in the interests of the Palestinian people; Hamas has no qualms in maximising civilian casualties even in the Palestinian population, which it purports to represent. It does not.


Israel has the absolute right to defend itself and its military operations must be conducted in strict accordance with International Humanitarian Law. Civilians must be respected and protected at all times. This is not a war between two countries that both respect Geneva Conventions on the laws of war; Israel is a democratic, western style civil society fighting against a terrorist organisation which does not respect any Geneva Convention on the laws of war.  The death of innocent civilians is horrendous, but it is Hamas which is the cause of these deaths. Israel is fighting for its existence, and for the right for Jewish people to lead a safe, democratic, socially liberal way of life – the sort of life we enjoy here in the U.K. Hamas does not want this for Palestinian people, let alone Israelis.


Our Prime Minister spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on 12 October. He reiterated the need to ensure the protection of innocent civilians and underlined the importance of safe humanitarian access to Gaza.


The UK Government has authorised the sending of a significant support package to the region, UK military assets will support regional stability and prevent escalation. On the 16 October, the Prime Minister announced a further £10 million in humanitarian funding for civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), in response to the escalating conflict. I support the continuing efforts of the U.K. Government to work with regional partners so that essential aid can reach civilian populations in Gaza including food, water, fuel and medical supplies.


A two-state solution and peace is possible for Israel and Palestine, but Gaza – Palestine - cannot achieve this with Hamas. People should be demonstrating in this country to ‘Free Palestine from Hamas’; it is the terrorist thugs that want to keep Palestinian and Israeli people in conflict and prevent a peaceful two-state future.


Yours sincerely,


Sally-Ann Hart MP"