Israel is responding to a terrorist attack by Hamas, which, after killing more than 1,000 Israeli civilians, is now illegally holding nearly 200 more against their will. This is clearly not acceptable.
It was good to see the House of Commons united in its support of Israel, but there was also an underlying nagging concern about what comes next. Several speakers used the phrase “no collective punishment” because Gaza’s civilian population could bear the brunt of Israel’s attempts to wipe out Hamas.
Britain has increased its humanitarian aid to Gaza by £10 million, and rightly so. The Palestinian people need water, medicine and fuel to keep the emergency rooms in their hospitals running.
All civilian lives have equal value.
There are so many bad actors in the Middle East who want to expand the conflict in hopes of profiting from the chaos – it is no coincidence that this conflict came about at a time when Israel and Saudi Arabia appeared to be on the same page peace, which is the main reason why. These bad actors, Iran, didn’t want to happen.
Although the Middle East seems far from our shores, we are already seeing the impact in this country: it’s so sad that Israeli schools here have closed out of fear, and it was nice to see Rishi Sunak on a show Solidarity visited classroom.
From the protesters on the streets of Britain to diplomats in the skies over the Middle East, we need calm minds to ensure humanitarian aid reaches those who need it most and to prevent breaches of international law that could lead to would lead to an escalation of the conflict and the deaths of countless more civilians.