Israel and Gaza

Greg Smith Excerpts
Tuesday 19th March 2024

(2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Andrew Mitchell Portrait Mr Mitchell
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As I said, we continue to assess Israel’s commitment and capability to comply with international humanitarian law. Those assessments are supported by a detailed evidence base, conflict analysis, reporting from charities, non-governmental organisations, international bodies and partner countries, statements and reports by the Israeli Government, and their track record of compliance. We take all of that into account in making our judgments. I point out to the hon. Gentleman that when it comes to targeting and military action, the Israel Defence Forces have their own lawyers embedded in those units, in much the same way of prudence that the British military do. That is not something we see in any other force in the region and it should give some confidence that the Israelis are seeking to abide by international humanitarian law.

Greg Smith Portrait Greg Smith (Buckingham) (Con)
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I welcome reports that Israel is opening new routes to directly deliver humanitarian aid into northern Gaza, amid a slowdown in UN operations and the widespread Hamas misappro-priation of that aid, which was referenced earlier. Significantly, at the same time, every day the IDF documents more and more Hamas infrastructure, weapons and missiles within civilian buildings—this week at al-Shifa Hospital and last month underneath UNRWA’s own headquarters. So is the grim reality not that as long as Hamas remain in control of Gaza, no matter how many times people cry for a ceasefire, there can be no peace?

Andrew Mitchell Portrait Mr Mitchell
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As my hon. Friend sets out, it is clear that there is no place for Hamas in any future for Gaza. What happened on 7 October is uniquely appalling and I agree with him that until Hamas are removed from Gaza, the opportunity of peace is very limited.