Middle East

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:53 pm on 12th March 2002.

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Photo of Baroness Amos Baroness Amos Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 2:53 pm, 12th March 2002

My Lords, the Government are profoundly concerned at the continuing violence in the Middle East. At least 92 Palestinians and 20 Israelis have been killed in the past five days alone. We understand the intense political pressures on the Israeli Government to respond to repeated suicide bombings, and our condemnation of terrorism in all its forms is unequivocal. We look to the Palestinian Authority for a 100 per cent effort to deal with the terrorism. However, a strategy aimed at inflicting maximum pain on Palestinian civilians is not acceptable. It is not an effective basis on which to build peace. I agree with the noble Baroness that we need to bring all the pressure to bear that we can. We are doing that through our own efforts through the European Union. The United States is also engaged. But none of us underestimates the gravity of the situation.