Palestinians: Visa Scheme — [Martin Vickers in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall am 6:13 pm ar 13 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Bell Ribeiro-Addy Bell Ribeiro-Addy Llafur, Streatham 6:13, 13 Mai 2024

I congratulate my hon. Friend Cat Smith on securing this important debate. As the Israel Defence Forces ramp up operations in Rafah, there are no remaining safe zones left in Gaza. Nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, over 75,000 have been injured, and more than 1.5 million have been displaced. I know that Members have heard those figures before, but I think it is important that we repeat them as often as possible.

People who have already been forced out of their homes are having to flee once again. According to an interim damage assessment conducted by the World Bank and the UN, $18.5 billion-worth of damage to critical infrastructure has been done, and 74% of that is housing. Eighty-four percent of health facilities in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, and those that are left are barely functioning. Doctors are having to perform amputations on children and perform C-sections without anaesthetic. It is worth restating that under the Geneva conventions, the forcible transfer of a civilian population is a war crime, as is the deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure. Yet, even after the ICJ ruling, our Government’s decision to keep supplying military hardware to Israel and their failure to push for a lasting ceasefire mean that the UK is wholly complicit in creating the conditions for the humanitarian crisis we are now witnessing. We have a responsibility to help those who are suffering.