Debates between Lord Green of Deddington and Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton during the 2019-2024 Parliament

Gaza: Humanitarian Aid

Debate between Lord Green of Deddington and Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton
Tuesday 12th March 2024

(4 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton Portrait Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton (Con)
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I thank the noble Lord for his question. We completely agree that we will not have a two-state solution if the people responsible for 7 October are still running any part of Gaza. Obviously, what we would like to see is an immediate pause, the hostages released and a series of conditions put in place to make sure that the pause turns into a permanent ceasefire without a return to fighting. One of those conditions would be that the people responsible for 7 October—the leadership of Hamas—would have to leave Gaza and the terrorist infrastructure would have to be dismantled. If that did not happen through a process of negotiation, the noble Lord is no doubt right that there would be a return to fighting. That needs to be understood by people.

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Lord Green of Deddington Portrait Lord Green of Deddington (CB)
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My Lords, I thank the Foreign Secretary for his first response, which set out very clearly and practically what the Government are trying to achieve in the Middle East. The problem though is pretty clear; the problem is the Israeli Government, who are not prepared, it seems, to accept the suggestion by the UK and the United States. So will he now make it clear to the Israeli Government that their continuing pressure on Palestinians, especially on their women and children, is absolutely unacceptable and, furthermore, that it risks antagonising millions of Arabs and Muslims for years and years to come? I say that having served for many years myself in the Middle East.

Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton Portrait Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton (Con)
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I am very familiar with the noble Lord’s service in a number of our embassies in the Middle East and his long experience in that part of the world. I say to him that we have said repeatedly that Israel must abide by international humanitarian law. As the noble Lord, Lord Austin, said, Israel has a right to self-defence. Hamas fighters started this conflict by their appalling invasion and terrorist pogrom in Israel, which led to the murder of over 1,400 people—and it is worth remembering that they still hold hostages. We are more than 150 days in. If Hamas fighters wanted to end this conflict, they could do so tomorrow—they could do so today—by releasing those hostages, getting their leaders out of Gaza and laying down their weapons. They do not do that. But the noble Lord is absolutely right to make the point that we had this experience fighting terrorist insurgencies in our own country, in our own history. You have to obey the rules and obey the law; if you do not and you lower yourself to the standards of the people you are fighting against, that does not end well.

Children in Gaza

Debate between Lord Green of Deddington and Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton
Tuesday 13th February 2024

(5 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton Portrait Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton (Con)
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I say to the noble Lord what I said yesterday in Scotland: many of the people in Rafah have already moved three, four or five times. It is not possible for them to move again. They cannot go north because they would be going back to homes that have been destroyed. They cannot go south because that would involve going into Egypt, which none of us wants to see and the Egyptians do not want. That is why it is so important that the Israelis stop and think before going ahead with any operations in Rafah.

Lord Green of Deddington Portrait Lord Green of Deddington (CB)
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My Lords, does the Foreign Secretary agree that the huge number of civilian casualties in Gaza is deeply damaging to the reputation of Israel? Will he therefore take action to promote a change of strategy by the Israelis, as well as the other measures he has mentioned? Thousands of civilians are being killed; that has to stop.

Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton Portrait Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton (Con)
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Our view from the start has been that, while Israel has a right to defend itself and the attacks on 7 October were an appalling attack on Israel—it is worth remembering that it was the biggest pogrom since the Holocaust in terms of the loss of life of Jewish people; we should not forget that—and a tragedy that it had every right to respond to and try to prevent happening again, Israel must obey international humanitarian law. Let us be clear: not only does that involve what the IDF does in terms of the way it prosecutes this war but, as Israel is the occupying power in Gaza, it has to make sure that humanitarian aid—food, water and shelter—is available to people in Gaza. If Israel does not do that, it would be a breach of international humanitarian law as well.