I feel tremendous sadness and anger watching the situation in East Jerusalem.

The decision by the Israeli government to advance their settlement programme is not just illegal but hugely damaging to the chances of a future peace. The violence we have seen in recent days is also completely abhorrent and deplorable, whether it is the Israeli security forces attacking worshippers gathering during Ramadan at the al-Aqsa mosque, Hamas rocket attacks threatening the lives of Israel civilians, or Israeli airstrikes on Gaza leading to the unacceptable loss of civilian lives, including several children.

As I have always said, we cannot go on generation after generation trapped in this escalating cycle of violence. We owe it to young children growing up in Israel and Palestine today to break that cycle, not make it part of their daily lives too.

For its part, I hope the UK government will make urgent representations to the Israeli Government to halt all evictions in East Jerusalem, change planning laws which discriminate against Palestinians and suspend the construction of all other settlements in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank immediately.

However distant the prospect seems amid the violence we are witnessing today, we must never lose sight of the goal that all people of good will should share for the Middle East: a negotiated two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with a safe and secure Israel living in peace alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state. That is the goal I remain fixed on today.

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