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Middle East

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received on Israel’s compliance with International Humanitarian Law during the recent conflict in Lebanon. (100011)

The UK has received a number of reports on Israel's compliance with International Humanitarian Law during the recent conflict in Lebanon. These include reports from human rights non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International, and the visit report of the four UN special procedure mandate holders, which accuse both Israel and Hezbollah of serious violations of international humanitarian law.

The UK has not conducted an investigation into Israel’s conduct in Lebanon between 12 July and 14 August. The UK has always recognised Israel’s legitimate right to self-defence. At the same time we made clear during the conflict our deep concern at the deaths of civilians and at the destruction of civilian infrastructure and consistently urged Israel to exercise utmost restraint and act in compliance with international humanitarian law. We believe that any credible allegations of improper conduct should be properly investigated and appropriate action taken by the Governments of Israel and Lebanon.