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Jerusalem: Violence

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL192, tabled on 12 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of Jerusalem on 11 May that the violence in Jerusalem "violates the sanctity of the people of Jerusalem and of Jerusalem as the City of Peace"; and what plans they have to call on relevant parties (1) to halt further violence, and (2) to ensure the safety of worshippers.

Answered on

26 May 2021

The UK is clear that the violence against peaceful worshippers and must stop. Respect for the historic Status Quo at the Holy Sites in Jerusalem is important at all times. We encourage all parties to maintain calm, avoid provocation and uphold the Status Quo to ensure the safety and the security of the Al Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount and all who worship there.

The UK welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on 20 May, which is an important step to ending the cycle of violence and loss of civilian life. The UK worked actively to urge the parties to work with mediators towards an immediate ceasefire. We fully supported Egyptian, Qatari and UN efforts, working closely with the US. The Foreign Secretary visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 25 and 26 May for talks with senior leaders following the ceasefire. During his visit the Foreign Secretary met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and reiterated the UK's firm commitment to the two-state solution as the best way to permanently end the occupation, deliver Palestinian self-determination and preserve Israel's Jewish and democratic identity.