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MPs to vote on recognising Palestine as a state

MPs will take part in an historic vote tonight that will call on the Government to recognise Palestine as a state alongside Israel.

Tonight's debate is considered to be the first lengthy talks on the issue in Parliament since 2012.

Credit: PA Archive

It follows the collapse of peace talks between Israel and Palestine and the most recent conflict in Gaza, which claimed the lives of more than 2,100 Palestinians - mostly civilians - as well as 70 Israelis.

A motion before MPs urges them to support the view that the Government should recognise Palestine as a state, although an amendment suggests this step should be taken once peace negotiations have successfully concluded.

Prime Minister to abstain in Palestine vote

David Cameron will abstain in a vote on whether the UK should recognise Palestine as a state, Downing Street said.

Prime Minister David Cameron. Credit: PA Wire

Mr Cameron's spokesman added that the vote in Parliament will not alter Government policy.

Sweden became the first major member of the European Union to recognise the state of Palestine earlier this month.


Sweden officially recognises state of Palestine

Sweden is to recognise the state of Palestine in a move that will make it the first major member of the European Union to do so.

r Stefan Lofven (front 2nd L) said Sweden will recognise the state of Palestine. Credit: Reuters

The prime minister of the new centre-left government Stefan Lofven said the conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a "two-state solution".

"Sweden will therefore recognise the state of Palestine," Lofven said during his inaugural address in parliament.

Hungary, Poland and Slovakia recognised Palestine before they joined the EU, making Sweden the first country to acknowledge Palestine while being a member of the bloc.

More than 2,000 people were killed after a seven-week conflict between Israel and Hamas earlier this year.

Israel teen murder suspects killed in shoot out

Two Palestinians suspected over the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers that sparked this summer's Gaza bloodshed have been killed in a shoot-out with Israeli forces, the army said today.

Israel military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said the suspects were killed in the West Bank.

The teenagers' abduction in the West Bank sparked a massive manhunt, leading to the arrest of hundreds of activists of the Islamic militant group Hamas and eventually led to the war in Gaza.


British Muslim and Jewish leaders unite over Gaza

Palestinians in Gaza celebrate after the ceasefire was announced. Credit: Khatib Abed Rahim/ABACA

Muslim and Jewish leaders in the UK have issued an unprecedented joint statement, calling on both faiths to "export peace" to Gaza.

The Muslim Council of Britain and the Board of Deputies of British Jews made the joint call an open-ended truce was agreed in the Middle East.

Both Israel and Hamas have claimed victory following the recent conflict, which is thought to have claimed the lives of 2,143 Palestinians and 70 Israelis.

The MCB and the BoD said they condemned the civilian casualties and hoped for "lasting peace", while also stating Muslims and Jews should "get to know one another".

The death of every civilian is a tragedy, and every effort should be taken to minimise such losses. The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions. We pray for a speedy end to the current conflict and for a lasting peace for all.

– Muslim Council of Britain and Board of Deputies of British Jews

Islamist fighters 'take control of Syria border crossing'

Al Qaida's Syrian branch Nusra Front and other Islamist fighters have taken control of a border crossing dividing Syria from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a monitoring group has said.

Smoke billows on the border between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Credit: RTV

The fighters, who have vowed to "liberate" the area, captured the Quneitra post on the Syrian side from forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad following fierce clashes, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Stray fire from Syria wounds Israeli soldier near border

Stray fire from Syria wounded an Israeli soldier in the occupied Golan Heights, the Israeli military has said, as fighting between rebels and the Syrian army approached the border area.

Israeli emergency services said the soldier was wounded by errant mortar shell and evacuated to a local hospital.

Local media reported shortly after the incident that Syrian rebels had taken hold of the Quneitra border crossing.

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