MPchal­lenged over Is­raeli war crimesclaim

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

THE GOV­ERN­MENT must set up a “watch-list” of Is­raelis who have com­mit­ted “war crimes” by de­tain­ing and in­ter­ro­gat­ing Pales­tinian chil­dren, a Labour MP has claimed.

Sarah Cham­pion said the Is­rael De­fence Forces were guilty of “mass in­tim­i­da­tion and col­lec­tive pun­ish­ment” of Pales­tini­ans in or­der to pro­tect Is­raeli set­tlers in the West Bank.

Lead­ing a de­bate in West­min­ster Hall on Wed­nes­day, the Rother­ham MP called for a list of “all known war crime sus­pects” who at­tempt to en­ter Bri­tain.

She de­scribed in­stances of Pales­tinian mi­nors be­ing de­tained with plas­tic hand ties, blind­folds, and hoods while be­ing ar­rested at night and forced to sign doc­u­ments in He­brew.

Con­ser­va­tive MPs An­drew Percy and John How­ell led the re­sponse to Ms Cham­pion’s claims. Mr How­ell said in­ves­ti­ga­tions by Is­raeli of­fi­cers were of­ten con­ducted in Ara­bic, with an ap­peals process, and that mi­nors brought be­fore courts were rep­re­sented by lawyers of their choos­ing.

The al­le­ga­tions against Is­rael were “an un­fair se­lec­tion”, Mr How­ell said.

Mr Percy bran­dished a soft toy de­scribed as an “in­cite­ment doll” used to en­cour­age Pales­tinian chil­dren to op­pose Is­rael. Around 4,000 of the dolls had been in­ter­cepted by Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties. He also read from a Pales­tinian school­text­book­warn­ingchil­dren­about “rob­bing Jews”. The use of such ma­te­rial amount­ed­tochild­abuse­bythePales­tinian au­thor­i­ties, Mr Percy said.

More than a dozen MPs from a num­ber of par­ties spoke in the frac­tious 90-minute ses­sion.

Mid­dle East Min­is­ter To­bias Ell­wood said the gov­ern­ment would con­tinue to “sup­port Is­rael in the chal­lenges it faces”. He called on Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties to en­sure child de­tainees had ear­lier ac­cess to lawyers and were al­lowed to have par­ents present dur­ing de­ten­tion and in­ter­ro­ga­tion.

In a state­ment, the Is­raeli em­bassy in Lon­don said Is­rael at­tached “great im­por­tance to strength­en­ing the pro­tec­tion granted to mi­nors in the mil­i­tary jus­tice sys­tem”, while tak­ing into ac­count the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the West Bank.

It said 40 chil­dren had taken part in terror at­tacks against Is­raelis dur­ing the cur­rent spate of violence.

Ms Cham­pion vis­ited the Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries last Septem­ber as part of a Coun­cil for Arab-Bri­tish Un­der­stand­ing del­e­ga­tion. On her re­turn she was forced to cor­rect com­ments she had made which con­tained in­ac­cu­ra­cies about the sit­u­a­tion in Gaza.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.