‘I unequivocally condemn the violence at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

‘It is heart-breaking to see reports of so many injuries inflicted in the clashes. The Holy Month of Ramadan, coinciding as it does this year with Easter and Passover, should be a time of peace, reflection and reconciliation. Instead we are seeing armed police firing stun grenades and tear gas at protestors and worshippers.

‘At a time of heightened tension, all sides should be working to de-escalate the crisis and eliminate the violence. Any disproportionate response only increases the risk of more people being seriously injured or killed. Above all, we must ensure that the situation is not allowed to spiral out of control leading to the kind of wider conflict we witnessed this time last year.

‘While we rightly concentrate on ending the war of aggression in Ukraine, we should not ignore the suffering caused by the conflict in Israel and Palestine and the massive disparity between the military might of one side against the other.

‘The chances of a peaceful settlement, with a viable and independent Palestine alongside a safe and secure Israel diminish whenever we witness such violent incidents. There should be an immediate end to the aggression and no further violation of the holy sites.

‘The British Government cannot be bystanders to the conflict. My long-standing view is that, as a first step, ministers should review what type of weapons the UK sells to Israel, and whether there is a risk they will be used to violate international law. If that is the case, then the government have not just a moral duty to stop those arms sales, but a legal requirement to do so as well.’

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