Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo by user
Photo for illustrative purposes only. Photo by user 'Dennis Jarvis', sourced from Flickr and used under Creative Commons License.

Shabana has written to constituents regarding the annexation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

She was recently contacted by a large number of constituents concerned about plans to extend Israel’s territory into the occupied West Bank in July 2020.

In her letter, Shabana states her opposition to the plans in the strongest terms, and points to her record on issues relating to the region.

You can read her letter in full below.

Letter to constituents

Dear Constituent,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the annexation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

I share your concerns about the egregious plans of the Israeli Prime Minister to extend Israel’s territory into the occupied West Bank by as early as July 2020. I am, and always have been, a passionate and determined supporter of Palestinian rights and my parliamentary record on this issue speaks for itself.

I made my views clear in May this year, as a signatory to a cross-party letter from MPs to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, criticising President Trump’s so-called ‘peace plan’ that provided no realistic basis for the return of negotiations between Israel and Palestine. In the letter, co-ordinated by the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU), MPs denounced attempts to suppress the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and called upon the Prime Minister to pre-emptively oppose serious breaches of international law that would follow Israeli territorial claims over the Jordan Valley and the West Bank.

It is abundantly clear that any move to annexe Palestinian territory is in direct contravention of international law and undermines efforts to negotiate a peaceful two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. Annexation of parts of the West Bank also threatens longstanding peace treaties with neighbouring countries, including Egypt and Jordan.

International law does not allow territory seized by force to be unilaterally annexed. If Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 was illegal, so too is the unilateral annexation of the West Bank.

I support the conclusions of Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, who has also warned the annexation in the West Bank would violate international law, threaten regional peace and security, contribute to social disruption, and damage advances made towards a two-state solution.

Annexation should be opposed through co-ordinated diplomatic pressure and, if annexation takes place, the Government ought to ban goods and produce from the illegal settlements of the West Bank. Words are not enough. The Government must go beyond rhetoric.

Rest assured, as per my previous record on issues relating to the region, I will continue to do all that I can to press for justice for all peoples in the region. I will continue to put pressure on the Government to uphold international law and to take action against Israel should it begin to annexe the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Thank you again for writing to me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again regarding this or any other issue.

Yours sincerely,

Shabana Mahmood MP
Birmingham Ladywood

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