Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Alistair Burt (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Afghanistan/South Asia, counter terrorism/proliferation, North America, Middle East and North Africa), Foreign and Commonwealth Office; North East Bedfordshire, Conservative)
Reports indicate that the Israel Defence Force boarded the HS Beethoven as part of a routine patrol. The ship's route apparently raised concerns that it might have been carrying weapons destined for Gaza. No weapons were found and the ship continued on route.
The UK recognises that Israel has legitimate security concerns that must continue to be safeguarded. We urge the Government of Israel to ensure that any actions carried out adhere to international law.