LDFI Vice President speaks in the Lords on requirements for peace

Lord Palmer of Childs Hill (LD): My Lords, despite what the noble Lord, Lord Luce, said, there will be a two-state solution, which I passionately want, only if the Israelis and Palestinians sit down and negotiate. I worry that nothing much has moved on since it was said about President Arafat that he missed no opportunity to miss an opportunity. There can be no quick, misguided fix of recognition of the state by the United Nations.

Let us be clear. Many noble Lords have talked, or will talk, about the requirements of Israel towards that peace negotiation. I would like to use the short time I have to talk about the requirements of the Palestinians as well as of the Israelis. There has to be a cessation of rockets and mortars from Gaza. There were 4,036 rockets in 2014 landing on Israel. Just think—if rockets were being fired at the Peers’ Entrance of this place there would soon be a militia acting in response. There has to be a cessation of tunnels. These are attack tunnels; they are not just for goods and supplies. It is people going down these tunnels to come out at the other end and attack civilians within the State of Israel. These tunnels are being built with concrete and building materials which should go to the building and restoring of the houses, hospitals and schools within Gaza.

As has been said by noble Lords, one of the requirements would be the granting of citizenship of the new state of Palestine to all who live in the West Bank and Gaza. On the subject of those refugees who live in UNWRA refugee camps, I was appalled by the way they live and the fact that there is no barbed wire.

(5 March 2015)

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