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8 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I February 2009
Israel’s crimes must be pursued if
proved, says Lord Malloch-Brown
The British government insists that The government was urged by for collecting evidence of the different
it is determined to ensure a proper Lord Sheikh, chair of the Conservative incidents that have occurred,” the
and independent inquiry is carried Muslim Forum, to take the “lead foreign office minister explained.
out into whether Israel has breached to facilitate a full and thorough “It is also the responsibility of
international humanitarian law during investigation” and to “ensure that the government of Israel, as a
its latest massacre of Palestinians in appropriate remedial action is taken.” party to the international laws that
Gaza. “The people of Gaza have been govern this—particularly the Geneva
“There is no doubt that, if these subjected to collective and Conventions—to make an initial
allegations stand up, they will need indiscriminate punishment by the investigation,” he added.
to be pursued internationally. These Israelis, some of whose actions can When questioned whether Israelis
are very serious crimes, if they were perhaps be considered inhumane,” was cooperating with the UN inquiries
committed,” Foreign Office Minister Sheikh said. or blocking them as they have so often
Lord Malloch-Brown, suggesting He added that Israel also “used done in the past, the former deputy
Israel could end up in the International white phosphorus shells, whose use UN secretary general said that it was
Criminal Court. against people is prohibited under the “simply too soon to know.”
“The government of Israel have 1980 Geneva Convention, and there “There is an obligation on Israel to
made themselves party to the may have been incidents whose cooperate. We very much hope that
Geneva Conventions and must investigation is likely to find breaches it will live up to that obligation,” he
therefore expect to be judged by of international humanitarian laws.” said.
them,” Malloch-Brown said during a “In the first instance, it is a matter During the debate Malloch-Brown
House of Lords debate Tuesday on for the International Committee of the pointed out that allegations had also
what assessment his government has Red Cross and the United Nations, been made against Hamas over
made on breaches of humanitarian both of which are on the ground and its rocket attacks that needed to be
law in Gaza. both of which have the responsibility examined as well.
UK has own stockpiles of white
phosphorous, minister admits
Defense Minister Quentin Davies Britain’s arsenal, which the minister the capability, effectiveness or security
has admitted that Britain’s armed decline to answer. of the armed forces,” he said.
forces has its own arsenal of white “I am withholding information Human rights group Amnesty
phosphorous shells but refuses to on the size of the stockpile of these International has accused Israel
state the size of the stockpiles in the munitions on the grounds that its of committing war crimes by
light of Israel’s controversial use in its disclosure would be likely to prejudice using white phosphorous shells in
latest massacre of Palestinians. densely populated areas of Gaza in
“These are conventional munitions ‘indiscriminate and illegal’ ways.
that are not outlawed or banned by White phosphorous is a smoke-
any convention or protocol,” Davies producing incendiary device used
said without specifying that their use as a smoke-screen to mask troop
is outlawed against civilians under the movement, but also functions as an
Geneva Conventions. anti-personal weapon by causing
But in a written parliamentary severe casualties from burning
reply published Wednesday, he flakes.
insisted that ‘UK training in the use of Although the munitions are not
white phosphorus emphasizes that it outlawed as chemical weapons,
should be used solely for its intended various campaign organisations
purpose and not as an anti-personnel consider they should be banned under
weapon.” the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Following their use by Israel in White phosphorous was also
slaughtering over 1,300 Palestinians found to have been used Israel during
in Gaza, former Conservative defense its 2006 invasion of Lebanon as well
minister Michael Ancram asked not as by the US in the Iraq war, most
only the control criteria but the size of notoriously in its siege of Fallujah
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