15th May 2018

Sir Nicholas Soames's Question to the Minister for the Middle East on Gaza Border Violence.

Gaza Border Violence

House of Commons

Tuesday 15th May, 2018

Even allowing for Hamas’s wicked manipulation of the Palestinians, does my right hon. Friend accept that the response of the Israeli defence force was a wholly unacceptable and excessive use of force, and that it was totally disproportionate? May I also say, to my shame, that I hope our Foreign Office will indulge in a little less limp response to this terrible situation?

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for, again, recognising both sides of this. An independent inquiry is called for precisely to find out the reasons for the extent of the live fire. On the Israeli border, it is clear from repeated statements by the IDF that their concern about a breach of the fence, the statements it has had from Hamas and others, and previous attacks on the Israeli side of the border indicate what would be likely to happen should there be a breach of the border fence by Hamas operatives. Preventing that and stopping the border being infiltrated is a serious thing. But the extent of the live fire and of the injuries beyond the fence, the number of people involved and the sort of people who been caught up in this give a sense of why my right hon. Friend raised that question. If we do not also question that, as well as the engagement of those who might have been involved in inflaming the protests, we would not be doing our job correctly, so we will do both.

Tuesday 15th May 2018
Vol 641
No 139
Columns 140-141