Gaza Border Deaths: Unhrc Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:49 am on 22nd March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 11:49 am, 22nd March 2019

I wish there was a different answer from those that I gave before. As I say, the Human Rights Council procedure can look a bit arcane, in terms of the vote and then the explanation of the vote. As we all know in this House, asbtension is sometimes not about sitting on the sidelines, but is about making a positive point. The positive point that we sought to make was that here was a report into something incredibly important that was fatally flawed from the outset, and our abstention maintains that position.

On the deaths and injuries involved, the concerns about disproportionate use of live ammunition and some of the incidents reflected there, we would expect to see that covered by other tribunals. We welcome the fact that Israel has opened some criminal investigations into some of its activities, but again I say that there are many responsible for the issue and we need never to forget those who have been involved. The work of Dr Loubani and others brings that to mind, and we need to ensure that we concentrate on concluding it rather than just debating these issues. I appreciate the hon. Gentleman’s regular concern and interest in these matters.