James Sunderland questions Government on the violence in Israel and Palestine

Following the Government statement on the recent escalation in violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, James Sunderland calls on the Government to press for both sides to return to direct peace talks.

James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

Over the past week, Hamas is alleged to have fired over 1,000 rockets at indiscriminate targets inside Israel. By the same token, Israeli aggression has also escalated. Does my right hon. Friend agree that we must press in this place for both sides to return to direct peace talks and that the targeting of civilians, against international law, is abhorrent?

James Cleverly (Minister for the Middle East and North Africa)

We have spoken with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to work with them to de-escalate and bring about peace. My hon. Friend mentions the avoidance of civilian casualties, and we press for that as a priority in all instances. We will continue to work with parties both in the region and in multilateral forums—with the United States and the European Union perhaps most closely—to push for peace so that we do not have to hear of any more fatalities in either Gaza or Israel.