Bishop of Worcester asks Government about ‘real, substantial hope’ for Gaza

On 15th May 2018, Lord Ahmad repeated the answer to an urgent question asked in the House of Commons on violence at the Gaza border and its impact on the Middle East peace process. The Bishop of Worcester, the Rt Revd John Inge, responded:

The Lord Bishop of Worcester: My Lords, I am grateful to Her Majesty’s Government for the careful yet very specific response they have given to the appalling loss of life at the border between Gaza and the state of Israel yesterday. The thoughts and prayers of this Bench are with all those affected. It is good to know that the Minister supports an independent review of what happened. At the same time, will the Minister agree that, while the United Kingdom recognises the integrity of the border—and, indeed, of all Israel’s pre-1967 borders—and the security of Israel’s prosperous and pluriform society, the defence of its interests must offer tangible hope to those with whom it hopes to engage in dialogue? The phrase, “a glimmer of hope” was mentioned a moment ago. I was in Gaza about four years ago. The situation then was desperate ​and deteriorating. It is infinitely worse now. What real, substantial hope can be given to those who live in what is effectively a vast open prison?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: My Lords, that is why the United Kingdom Government, let me assure the right reverend Prelate, are committed to ensuring humanitarian access, as I have said already, and equally firmly convinced that the only way to bring that ultimate hope both to Israel and to the Palestinians is through a two-state solution. We continue to implore both sides that, now more than ever, it is required that they come to the table and that we see that lasting peace that we all desire.

(Via Parliament.UK)