Benjamin Netanyahu announced his intention last week to annex Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine, if he is elected for another term as prime minister. In response Quakers in Britain are restating their 2014 call to the UK government to honour its commitment to the two-state solution and recognise the state of Palestine without delay.
Israeli settlements are built in clear violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and impinge deeply on the human rights of Palestinians. There is international consensus that annexing the settlements would make a future Palestinian state unviable and therefore end any chance of a two-state solution.
Quakers in Britain therefore call on the United Kingdom government to take immediate action to keep the two-state solution alive and recognise Palestine as a nation state on the same basis as it recognises the state of Israel.
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain said:
"Our Quaker testimonies to peace and equality again compel us to speak out. In 2014 our Yearly Meeting, the decision-making body of Quakers, said that the causes of this conflict, including the structural violence of occupation, must be addressed. Such violence damages all the people of the region.
"The statement said that the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis will 'only be resolved when Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territory is ended and the inherent equality, worth, and dignity of all is realised.'
"The 2014 statement continued, 'From our long-standing Quaker experience of working on this issue in Palestine, Israel and Britain, and from listening to the testimony of Quakers in Ramallah, we are convinced that the UK government has a real role to play. A starting place would be for the UK to recognise Palestine as a nation state on the same basis as it recognises Israel.'
"We long for - and will work for - a time when the deep fear experienced on all sides is replaced by security and a just peace."
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