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'Friend of Israel' MP calls for economic sanctions against West Bank settlements

He says Israel is 'grossly infringing on the human rights of Palestinians'

    Wes Streeting, the MP for Ilford North
    Wes Streeting, the MP for Ilford North (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

    A pro-Israel Labour MP has called for the “targeted economic sanctions” against Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

    Wes Streeting made the comments during a Parliamentary debate on Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village east of Jerusalem which is due to be demolished by Israeli forces.

    Mr Streeting described himself as a “friend of Israel”, and has been a vocal critic of party leader Jeremy Corbyn amid the row over antisemitism in the Labour Party.

    But during the debate, he criticised the Israeli government, accusing it of expanding settlements in the occupied territory, and “grossly infringing on the human rights of Palestinians”.

    Palestinian demonstrators try to prevent a bulldozer from passing through Khan al-Ahmar
    Palestinian demonstrators try to prevent a bulldozer from passing through Khan al-Ahmar (Photo: Getty Images)

    He said: “I too am a friend of Israel, which is why I will not pretend that what is taking place today is happening out of some concern for the welfare of the Bedouin community in Khan al-Ahmar or is the result of some planning dispute.

    “What is happening is a deliberate policy intention of the present Israeli Government, who have no regard or concern for a two-state solution.

    “If Israel is going to demolish Palestinian villages on the grounds that they are illegal settlements, is it not time for this country and our European partners to take targeted economic sanctions against illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank?”

    Alistair Burt, the Middle East Minister, fielded questions by MPs on Wednesday afternoon, after an urgent question was brought by Richard Burden, the MP for Birmingham Northfield.

    Alistair Burt, the Middle East Minister, said the government has 'repeatedly raised concerns'
    Alistair Burt, the Middle East Minister, said the government has 'repeatedly raised concerns' (Photo: Parliamentlive.tv)

    Mr Burt, who recently visited Khan al-Ahmar, told MPs that the government has “repeatedly raised its concerns with the Israeli authorities”, including Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador to the UK.

    Yachad, the left-wing Israel advocacy group, tweeted: “The demolition of Khan al-Ahmar is unlawful and dangerous. It's a danger to the two-state solution and it's a danger to Israel's relations with an important ally like the UK.”

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