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Volume 716: debated on Tuesday 5 January 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made into the investigation of alleged war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, as called for by the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. [HL817]

We understand from the Israeli authorities that investigations are under way or completed into 140 separate incidents, including all 34 incidents highlighted by the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza report. We await the publication of the conclusions of these investigations.

The Palestinian Authority has formed a high-level committee, drawing on expertise from the Independent Commission for Human Rights (a respected regional organisation). This committee will only be investigating allegations made by the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza report directed at the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Media reports indicate that Hamas has also announced its own investigation.

We are clear that any allegations of breaches of international humanitarian law that may have occurred during the Gaza conflict should be addressed through full, credible and independent investigations.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what reports they have received from the Middle East concerning helicopter gunship incursions over Gaza since the end of Operation Cast Lead. [HL820]

We have not received specific reports detailing Israeli helicopter movements over Gaza. However, according to the UN, the Israeli Defence Forces have carried out a range of military operations throughout 2009, including air strikes. The targets were mainly tunnels under the border with Egypt.

The UK recognises Israel's right to defend itself but calls upon the Israeli Government to act with restraint and in accordance with international law.