LFI chair Joan Ryan this week urged the government to pressure the Palestinian Authority to put an end incitement to violence.
At questions to the Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on Tuesday, Joan Ryan asked the Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood MP:
“On new year’s day, Nashat Melhem murdered two Israelis in a bar in Tel Aviv and wounded eight others. He then killed a taxi driver, a Bedouin Israeli, while escaping. He himself was killed a week later in a shoot-out with the police. The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health has described him as “one of the dearest martyrs”, and the Fatah Facebook page has commented: “Congratulations and may Allah receive you in Heaven”. What pressure will the Government bring to bear on the Palestinian Authority to ensure that this kind of encouragement to violence is stopped?”
Ellwood said that he would address reports of dangerous rhetoric during his upcoming visit to Israel and the West Bank and replied: “The right hon. Lady is absolutely right. This is the sort of rhetoric I was referring to earlier, and it takes us into a very dark place. It is the sort of rhetoric that President Abbas should be condemning straight away. I will visit Israel and the west bank shortly, and I will certainly raise these matters to ensure that this kind of encouragement and incitement to violence is stopped.”
Louise Ellman, the Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside and vice chair of LFI, also urged the UK government to ask, asking: “Has the Minister made representations about the current Palestinian campaign of inciting violence, which has led to 40 young Palestinians committing acts of terrorism, including shootings and stabbings of Israeli civilians on the streets of Israel?”
Ellwood answered: “The hon. Lady is absolutely right to raise that point. Both sides need to refrain from rhetoric and from taking actions that clearly inflame the situation rather than take us where we want to be. Some of the acts of violence are not incited, although some are. It shows the frustration of some individuals who have lost faith in their own leadership. The fact that youngsters can get out a knife and go off and kill an Israeli, knowing the consequences, reflects the dire situation we face. That makes it all the more urgent that the leaders come together and move towards a two-state solution.”