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Israel: UK Military Support

Volume 750: debated on Monday 20 May 2024

The UK and Israel have a long-standing defence relationship, as we have discussed already this morning. Israel is a partner in the region, and a UK-Israel defence co-operation agreement was signed in December 2020.

I thank the Minister for that answer. The problem of unconditional UK military support for Israel is that while the majority of this House and of the British public rightly support our intervention to help protect Israel from missile attacks from third countries, it is a different story when it comes to its intervention and aggression in Gaza. How will His Majesty’s Government’s policy aim to sort out that conundrum?

Nothing is unconditional. The point I have made this morning is that we are supporting our ally overcome a devastating terrorist attack. We do that because it is the honourable thing to do. Simultaneously, we make the point to our ally that the protection of civilian lives must be at the top of the operational agenda. Furthermore, we use our military capability to ensure that humanitarian aid can flow into Gaza as quickly as possible.

In the light of the damning International Criminal Court statement today, how concerned is the Minister about the potential impact on the UK’s military relationship with Israel?

It has no bearing. We will make our judgments about the legality of our actions on our own terms, and we are confident in that legality.