British MPs and Peers Call for Access into Gaza

PNN/London

British MPs and Peers from all parties have called upon the UK Government to push the Israeli authorities to allow Parliamentary visits into Gaza via the Israeli controlled Erez crossing.

The last British MP delegation permitted access to Gaza by Israel was in 2009.

A new Early Day Motion calls for the British Government “to do everything in its power to persuade the Israeli authorities to permit parliamentary access into Gaza to assess the situation, the needs of the population and how British funds are being spent.”

Chris Doyle, Director of Caabu said: “As major donors to the humanitarian effort in Gaza and as key trade partners to Israel, MPs and MEPs for the European states have an obligation to their electorates, and the UK taxpayer more generally, to push for accountability and oversight of aid projects. This requires access to Gaza.”

In a meeting in Parliament on 4 March hosted by Caabu and Medical Aid for Palestinians, Gavin Shuker MP, Andy Love MP, Baroness Morris and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi all endorsed the vital need to visit Palestine especially Gaza.

Gavin Shuker MP urged Parliamentary access to Gaza saying: “There is no substitute to visiting and meeting with ordinary people”

Baroness Morris, the President of MAP and the Government’s Trade Envoy to Palestine said: “The people in Gaza are cut off and isolated. A change in attitudes of UK politicians depends on visits”

Tony Laurance, CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians said: “The UK is a significant donor to the planned reconstruction of Gaza and their Parliamentarians must see the situation for themselves in respect to the needs of the population and how British funds are being spent”.

In a debate in Parliament on 25 February, FCO Minister for MENA Tobias Ellwood and Richard Burden MP called for ‘Israel’ to allow Parliamentarians to access Gaza to enable an informed discussion to take place in the UK on Gaza and to allow UK Parliamentarians to review UK funded projects there.