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Nandy urges ban on import of West Bank settlement goods if Israel begins annexation

Starmer backs proposal by shadow foreign secretary

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Labour’s shadow foreign secretary has called for the UK to ban the import of goods from illegal settlements in the West Bank if the Israeli government presses ahead with annexation plans.

In a proposal backed by leader Sir Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy said: "The government must be clear with the Israeli coalition government that concrete action will follow, including a ban on goods entering Britain from the illegal settlements in the West Bank.

"This is a major step, but such a blatant breach of international law must have consequences. It will take a level of courage that so far ministers have not been willing to show."

Ms Nandy, who has headed the Labour Friends of Palestine group, said Britain has a "unique moral responsibility" to take action as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested he could “apply sovereignty” to up to 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank as early as Wednesday,

She told The Observer: “The proposal to unilaterally annex nearly a third of the West Bank is an illegal act which will undermine the prospect of a peaceful two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, and has serious implications for the stability of the Middle East.

“It is a shameful proposition to which the UK cannot be a silent witness. Across the world concern is growing … So far the UK government has been conspicuously absent from this global response.’’

Labour has previously called for diplomatic pressure on Israel in its 2019 manifesto. The new proposal represents a tougher line.

Party insiders say the new Labour leader is confident he can pursue a tough line on Israel, while continuing to act over antisemitism in his party.

Sir Keir’s team is said to have noted the scale of opposition to annexation from within the British Jewish community.

 

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