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Lebanon: Civilian Casualties

Volume 685: debated on Monday 9 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they will make to the United Nations on the possible classification as war crimes of the recent killing by military strikes of an estimated total of 90 Lebanese children and five Israeli children.[HL7123]

While Israel has every right to act in self-defence against these provocative acts, we nevertheless share the serious concern in the UN and elsewhere about the number of deaths, casualties and displaced persons that have been caused as a result of this conflict. We have urged Israel to act proportionately, to conform to international law and to avoid civilian death and suffering. As my right honourable friend the Prime Minister said on 18 July, “It is important that Israel's response is proportionate and does its best to minimise civilian casualties, but it would stop now if the soldiers, who were wrongly kidnapped when Hizbollah crossed the United Nations blue line, were released. It would stop if the rockets stopped coming into Haifa, deliberately to kill innocent civilians”.