I am deeply concerned by the deaths and injuries in both Israel and Gaza. The violence is shocking and tragic. Israel has a legitimate right to defend itself from rocket fire by militants in Gaza, however all Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live in peace. I would support any independent and transparent investigation into violence at the Israel/Gaza border. It is highly regrettable the recent Commission of Inquiry Report does not look comprehensively at the actions of non-state actors such as Hamas.
I believe the Palestinian right to protest is important, however these protests must remain peaceful. I am extremely concerned by the ongoing approach by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to embrace indiscriminate attacks against civilians. Above all, it is important that this violence is not repeated and that all those involved commit to peaceful protest, restraint and observe international law.
There is a pressing need for all parties to reach a wider agreement that addresses the underlying causes of conflict in Gaza and to take the necessary steps to ensure Gaza’s reconstruction and economic recovery. Any agreement should ensure that Hamas and other militant groups permanently end rocket and other attacks against Israel, that the Palestinian Authority resumes control of Gaza and restores effective governance, and that Israel lifts its restrictions to ease the suffering of ordinary Palestinians.
I firmly believe that the international community must redouble its efforts to support a comprehensive peace agreement that delivers a safe and secure Israel alongside an independent Palestine. A two-state solution brought about through agreement is the most effective way for Palestinian aspirations of statehood to be met.