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War Crimes

Volume 709: debated on Monday 16 March 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Malloch-Brown on 2 February (WA 92 and WA 99), whether, in view of the possibility that evidence may be destroyed or concealed, they will press the United Nations to establish rapidly independent investigations into allegations of war crimes in Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza in 2008 and 2009. [HL1253]

We are gravely concerned at the allegations of war crimes by both Israel and Hamas in the recent conflict in Gaza made by organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN. We expect Israel to investigate allegations made against its forces, and have made this clear to the Israeli Government.

The UN Secretary-General has launched a board of inquiry into the damage to UN premises in Gaza. The UK fully supports this inquiry. In addition, the UN Human Rights Council has decided to send an international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law by Israel in Gaza. We urge all parties to co-operate fully with international inquiries.

We have no plans to encourage the UN to investigate further Israeli military action in Lebanon in 2006 at this time. A commission of inquiry, set up by the UN Human Rights Council, has already reported on this matter.