Uphold international law in Gaza, say MPs as death toll rises


MPs have expressed their revulsion at the mounting death toll in Gaza and called on the international community to take immediate action.

An Early Day Motion (EDM) on Gaza was tabled by Richard Burden MP on 3 March 2008 and has been signed by 68 Members of Parliament.

Richard, Chair of the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, said:

‘The last six days have seen horrific attacks carried out by the Israeli military in Gaza. Israel says these attacks are supposed to deter rocket attacks on their citizens but they are actually achieving the opposite. There has rightly been widespread international outrage at the events in Gaza. But it is time the international community faced up to its obligations not just to urge, but to demand Israel to abide by international law.’

The EDM (1099) says:

That this House expresses its revulsion at the mounting death toll in Gaza caused by Israeli military strikes; notes that around half of the 108 Palestinians killed in the six days between Wednesday 27th February and Monday 3rd March 2008 were civilians; also condemns the rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza which have killed one Israeli civilian in southern Israel in the last nine months and which, according to figures supplied by the British Israel Communications and Research Centre, have been responsible for the deaths of 24 Israelis since 2001; further notes that Israel’s military strikes and its economic blockade of Gaza are achieving the opposite of their stated aim of deterring such rocket attacks; further notes that the strikes and blockade are causing widespread humanitarian suffering and, by collectively punishing the entire people of Gaza for the actions of those firing rockets, Israel’s actions are contrary to international law; further notes the UN Security Council statement of 2nd March, and the statements from the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary and the EU Presidency dated 2nd March and 3rd March respectively; and therefore calls upon the international community to press for an immediate ceasefire in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank and adherence to international law by all parties, including requiring Israel to abide by its legal obligations as an internationally recognised state, and emphasises the United Kingdom’s particular responsibility to ensure international compliance with humanitarian law as a High Contracting Party to the Fourth Geneva Convention.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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You can reach me by email at richard@richardburden.com or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.