CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

FOREIGN AFFAIRS – MIDDLE EAST PEACE – 10 December 2002

Dr Julian Lewis: With great respect, the reason why the two states did not come into existence after the original UN resolution surely was that the Arab armies invaded that section that was allocated to Israel. Although one can accept the hon. Gentleman's [Ernie Ross's] strictures against Sharon as being clumsy and often brutal, is not it also a fact that the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, which is responsible for suicide bombings, is directly linked to Yasser Arafat's PLO? It is a little more two-sided than the hon. Gentleman suggests.

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Dr Lewis: I am glad that the hon. Gentleman [Dr Brian Iddon] referred to the possible future role of UN peacekeepers. I was minded to inquire about that when my hon. Friend the Member for Stratford-on-Avon (John Maples) made his opening remarks. We have been in that position before: permanent peacekeepers were in place in the run-up to the 1967 war. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that in any settlement imposed by the UN, those peacekeepers should be there permanently, and that they should be removable only by the UN, rather than at the behest of one or other side of the dispute, as has so disastrously happened in the past?