I welcome the Israel and Hamas ceasefire - but now it’s time to tackle the big issues head-on.
By Layla Moran
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
Sixty six children have died since the outbreak of violence last week.
We cannot afford yet another return to a status quo which will only lead to more innocent deaths in the future.
Every death was completely preventable.
And while a ceasefire is welcome, we cannot return to a status quo.
We need to take meaningful action now to prevent innocent deaths in the future.
The potential evictions, demolitions and settlement expansions in the West Bank - which are breaches of international law - must be stopped.
The status quo arrangements in Jerusalem must be restored.
It is vitally important that the Palestinians are able to fulfil their democratic right through new elections including all Palestinian parties.
In this context, Hamas, as well as the Israeli authorities, must forgo violence and oppression and allow a legitimate political process to be pursued.
The UK Government must work with the international community to facilitate the reconstruction of negotiations.
To address these issues, we need a process - but meaningful peace talks have not meaningfully taken place for years.
So it is now time for the UK Government to work with the international community to facilitate the reconstruction of negotiations, negotiations which must take place between two equal partners.
Above all, there must be an injection of new hope into a conflict which has been hijacked by the extremes.
The strongest card the UK can play is to recognise the state of Palestine, which will ignite the flames of hope and bring greater balance to future negotiations.
I urge the Government to do the right thing.