56 UK parliamentarians call for UK Government to ban violent Israeli settlers and those who incite them from entry to the UK

A letter, co-drafted by the Balfour Project and CAABU, to David Cameron and James Cleverly MP.

Rt Hon Lord Cameron, 
Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs
Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, 
Secretary of State for the Home Department

Dear Secretaries of State,

Ban violent Israeli settlers and those who incite them from entry into the UK

Following recent constructive exchanges in the House of Commons, we write to ask that Israeli settlers who commit or incite crimes of violence and intimidation against Palestinians in the West Bank should be barred from entry into the United Kingdom. There is good British precedent for such action. We believe that the case for British Government action is very strong.

The US Administration has announced that it is banning entry to the USA by violent Israeli settlers it has identified. If the US has determined that these individuals are dangerous, surely our Government should do likewise and inform our European partners, urging them to take parallel action. 

Israel, as the occupying power in East Jerusalem, the rest of the West Bank and Gaza, has the sole responsibility for controlling the settlers, whose presence on occupied Palestinian land is itself illegal under international law. We express our grave concern not only that the Israeli army and police are ordered to protect the settlers only, and not the Palestinian people living under occupation, but that they have also been assisting Israeli settlers in attacks on Palestinian communities. All of this is directly contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

In contrast to the way in which Israeli settlers enjoy a climate of impunity, the Israeli authorities have arrested over 3,000 West Bank Palestinians since the appalling Hamas attack of 7 October. This is often in the most arbitrary manner and without charge. One example among many is the case of Anas Abu Srour, arrested on 28 November and sentenced to six months’ administrative detention without charge or trial. He is the Executive Director of the Aida Youth Centre in the Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem. To our knowledge, he has committed no offence. We ask you to instruct HM Embassy Tel Aviv to raise his and other cases with the Israeli authorities as a matter of urgency. The Israeli law under which he is in administrative detention is in large part a restatement of Britain’s Palestine Mandate Defence (Emergency) Regulations, for which Britain carries responsibility.

We welcome the Government’s contributions to the essential work of the West Bank Protection Consortium – but the Consortium needs additional resources from Britain to address the massive increase in settler violence and intimidation. It also needs robust, public Ministerial support for its work – quiet diplomacy having proved ineffective. 

We are glad that as Foreign Secretary you have expressed your concern to the Israeli Government over their conduct of the occupation in the West Bank – and that the present Home Secretary made clear that our Government will not deal with Itamar Ben Gvir. 

But expressing concern is not enough; Israel needs to heed your words or face serious consequences for its consistent failure to adhere to the international laws and conventions which it has signed and ratified. 

Julie Elliott MP
Debbie Abrahams MP
Rt Hon. Baroness Tessa Blackstone
Paul Blomfield MP
Baroness Christine Blower
Rt Hon. Ben Bradshaw MP
Deidre Brock MP
Alan Brown MP
Richard Burgon MP
Rt Hon. Alistair Carmichael MP
Joanna Cherry MP
Rt Hon. Jeremy Corbyn MP
Marsha de Cordova MP
Flick Drummond MP
Rt Hon. Baroness Frances D’Souza CMG
Lord Alf Dubs
Stephen Farry MP
Rt Hon. Lord Peter Hain
Lord David Hannay of Chiswick GCMG
Sir Mark Hendrick MP
Lord John Hendy KC
Imran Hussain MP
Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece
Baroness Barbara Janke
Kim Johnson MP
Rt Hon. David Jones MP
Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws
Afzal Khan MP
Ben Lake MP
Kim Leadbeater MP
Baroness Ruth Lister of Burtersett
Tony Lloyd MP
Caroline Lucas MP
Kenny MacAskill MP
Andy McDonald MP
Lord Mark McInnes of Kilwinning
Rt Hon. Kit Malthouse MP
Baroness Molly Meacher
Layla Moran MP
Lord Jonny Oates
Kate Osamor MP
Jess Phillips MP
Anum Qaisar MP
Yasmin Qureshi MP
Andrew Selous MP
Naz Shah MP
Baroness Shas Sheehan
Tommy Sheppard MP
Andy Slaughter MP
Zarah Sultana MP
Rt Hon. Kelly Tolhurst MP
Baroness Manzila Uddin
Rt Hon. Lord Norman Warner
Rt Hon. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi
Baroness Janet Whitaker
Dr Philippa Whitford MP
Nadia Whittome MP

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