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Palestinians: Health Services

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 294741, tabled on 4 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, for what reasons the Government did not support the UN Commission of Inquiry's report into potential violations of international law and the protection of healthcare in Palestine.

Answered on

8 October 2019

The UK abstained on the UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that the substance of a resolution must be impartial and balanced. We could not support an international investigation that refused to explicitly call for an investigation into the action of non-state actors such as Hamas. It is clear that Hamas hold significant responsibility for encouraging violent protest in Gaza, which is totally unacceptable. However, our vote does not mean that we will hold back from voicing or raising concern about Israel’s actions when warranted. The UN and its member states have every right to address these grave matters in a measured, balanced and proportionate way. In future, the UK will continue to support scrutiny of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the Human Rights Council, so long as this scrutiny is justified and proportionate. We have repeatedly made clear to Israel our longstanding concerns about the manner in which the Israel Defense Forces police non-violent protests and the border areas, including the use of live ammunition. We call on Israel to adhere to the principles of necessity and proportionality when defending its legitimate security interest.