I am deeply sorry to hear about the deaths of 60 Palestinians at yesterday’s border protests in Gaza, with thousands more injured. Firing live rounds at unarmed protestors can never be justified and I fully condemn these killings. The Nabka protests commemorate 70 years since the founding of the state of Israel, and the subsequent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes. I support the existence of Israel, and a two-state solution, but we need to acknowledge that the Nakba created an injustice which has never been resolved and, indeed, has been compounded over the years by illegal Israeli settlements and the Palestinians being forced into ever smaller areas of land.
Hamas’ incitement to violence against Israeli citizens is wrong and must be condemned. However, the role of the Israeli Government in the escalation of tensions must also be recognised, along with the provocative and foolish act of the USA in moving its embassy to Jerusalem. Netenyahu’s Government has made the prospect of a peace process and the creation of a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel far less likely. I hope we see an end to the violence, and the start of serious efforts to secure peace in the region.