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Labour MP urges UK to ban import of settlement goods

Stephen Kinnock says 'profiting from these products is tantamount to profiting from the proceeds of crime and it must stop'

Stephen Kinnock speaking in the Commons
Stephen Kinnock speaking in the Commons

A Labour MP has called on the government to boycott the import of settlement goods during a Commons debate on Palestine.

Stephen Kinnock, member for Aberavon, said the UK Government should stop ban items produced by Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

He said: “The Government must ban all products that originate from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Profiting from these products is tantamount to profiting from the proceeds of crime and it must stop.

“When we trade with these settlements we are essentially telling the world that international law does not matter and such trade legitimises and facilitates the existence and expansion of the settlements.

“In 2014, it was right that the UK as part of the European Union prohibited trade with Crimea following its illegal annexation by Russia. It is crucial that we are consistent in our application of international law.”

He added: “The constant flouting of UN resolutions and the fourth Geneva convention have undermined the rules-based order for decades and the international community can no longer just look the other way.

“Both sides in this conflict have witnessed horrific bloodshed and both sides deserve an end to the fear and suffering they have had to experience.”

Earlier in the debate, Middle East minister James Cleverly urged the Palestinians to submit a counteroffer to President Donald Trump’s peace plan.

A Labour spokesperson said: “In response to the Israeli government’s proposed annexation of large parts of the West Bank – which would constitute a clear of international law – Labour would support a ban on goods produced in territory that had been annexed.”

We welcomed the decision taken by the Israeli government in June to pause the planned annexation and urge the Israeli government to withdraw these plans entirely.  We call on all sides to renew efforts to restart a meaningful dialogue and bring about a long-term, peaceful solution to the conflict. Labour has been clear and consistent that we do not support a boycott of Israeli goods.”

Labour is clear that constructive dialogue remains the only way to secure a lasting peace in the Middle East, and continues to engage regularly with representatives on all sides to play our part in facilitating that process.”

A spokesperson for Labour Friends of Israel responded that its “longstanding position is to completely oppose imposing any sanctions or boycotts on Israel, a core demand of the pernicious and extreme BDS campaign. They would only serve to weaken progressives in Israel and embolden the right in their bunker mentality.”

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