Skip to main content

Middle East: Armed Conflict

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 25 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is on the preconditions necessary for the establishment of a lasting two-state solution with regard to Israel and Palestine. (281492)

The UK welcomes the Israeli Prime Minister's support for a two-state solution. His speech on 14 June 2009 was a positive step towards making further progress on the peace process. However, more is needed from Israel on the issue of settlements: a complete freeze in settlement construction, in line with Israel's Roadmap commitments. We also emphasis that the Palestinians should continue to be prepared to engage in negotiations with Israel towards achieving a two-state solution.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the types of weapon used by Israeli forces in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. (281832)

We have seen unconfirmed reports from journalists, non-governmental organisations and other international observers about weapons and types of ammunition used by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) during Operation Cast Lead.

Of specific concern was the UN Board of Inquiry's findings on the use of white phosphorus. The Israeli authorities carried out an investigation and concluded that the IDF's use of white phosphorus did not breach its obligations under international law. Nevertheless, more generally, IDF investigations have stated that there were a very small number of incidents in which intelligence or operational errors took place during the fighting.

It is important that Israel continue to ensure that credible allegations are fully investigated. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary reiterated this in his statement at the UN Security Council debate on 11 May 2009.