The Middle East Monitor (MEMO), has contacted MP’s from the three main political parties, as well as the foreign office, to get their reaction to Israel’s very provocative act yesterday of laying the foundation stone of a new settlement expansion program in East Jerusalem’s Jabal Mukaber neighborhood. The response from those MPs show that British Members of Parliament share the consternation that is spreading throughout the world at Israel’s insistence to constantly flout International Law.
Martin Linton, Labour MP and Chair of the Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East told MEMO that “The fact that an Israeli minister is attending the laying of the foundation stone shows that the Israeli cabinet is completely insincere about the peace process. They cannot expect the Palestinians to sit down to peace talks while they are taking more and more land from them. East Jerusalem is a part of Palestine that they are illegally annexing and Mount Scopus is either Palestinian land or no man’s land, but certainly not Israeli. This constant encroachment on Palestinian land has to be not only stopped but reversed before talks can go ahead. The only language the Israeli government will understand is an economic one. I think the international community has to impose an economic cost to Israel if they continue to expand settlements. It’s in Israel’s own interest to stop building, but it seems that only action by the international community will persuade them to stop.”
Similarly, a Liberal Democrat spokesperson stated their party’s position as being, “We believe that Israel must halt the building of settlements in the occupied territories; an act which is illegal under international law and threatens the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state.”