Colchester City Council welcomes Government’s increased engagement on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

PUBLISHED: 8 January 2024

Colchester City Council has welcomed a letter from the Minister of State, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, responding to the council’s motion, passed in December, on the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Council Leader, Cllr David King, said: “I welcome the government’s response on behalf of the Prime Minister. It is more engaged than before. Ministers are rightly listening to our and many other voices calling for an end to violence and a better way ahead for the Palestinian people. I hope our communities here will take some comfort from Government’s acknowledgement of their concerns, supported by this council.”

The Minister’s letter acknowledges the human tragedy unfolding in the region, condemns terrorism by Hamas, and reiterates the UK’s support for Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law.
However, the council is particularly encouraged by the Government’s emphasis on increased humanitarian aid, calls for a sustainable ceasefire, and continued support for a two-state solution. The Minister highlighted several UK efforts, including:
  • Providing £60 million in lifesaving humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians since October.
  • Urging all sides to ensure their actions minimize harm to civilians.
  • Pressing for unhindered humanitarian access and release of hostages.
  • Working with international partners to de-escalate tensions and prevent further conflict.
  • Hosting meetings with Foreign Ministers from around the region to push for progress on a two-state solution.
Cllr King continued: “We appreciate the Minister's detailed response and his specific actions towards a lasting political solution. Colchester City Council remains firmly committed to advocating for the equal rights and dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians. As a City of Sanctuary, we will continue to urge mutual respect and understanding, both here and abroad, and call upon the government to maintain its diplomatic efforts. We offer our collective and deepest sympathy to all those affected by the conflict in Israel and Gaza.”

Page last reviewed: 8 January 2024


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