Conservative MPs welcome Royal visit to Israel, raise concerns about Hamas in Foreign Office Questions

By June 29 2018, 11:01 Latest News No Comments

stephen crabb fcosIn Foreign Office questions in Parliament on Tuesday, Conservative MPs welcomed the first official Royal visit to Israel, and raised their concerns about increased attacks on Israel by Hamas.

CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman in the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. Stephen Crabb MP, asked the Middle East Minister if he would “join me in welcoming the landmark visit today by His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, the first member of the royal family to officially visit Israel?” He underlined: “The visit underlines the deep bond of friendship between the two countries”.

Middle East Minister Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP replied that “the Government are delighted at the visit of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge. It is an important opportunity for His Royal Highness to promote the strong relationships between the British, Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian peoples”.

CFI Officer Bob Blackman MP highlighted the “recent attacks by Hamas from Gaza into Israel”, together with Conservative MP John Lamont, who said that “in recent months, Gaza-based terrorists have not only renewed the firing of rockets into Israel, but adopted a new tactic of dispatching airborne fire-bombs, and even explosives, across the border using kites”.

Mr Lamont added that “although that may sound crude, it poses a real risk to life and has caused extensive fire damage to agricultural fields in Israel”, and asked the Minister if he would condemn these actions.

Minister Burt condemned the rocket attacks, underlining that until Hamas adheres to the Quartet Principles of non-violence, it is “unlikely to play a serious part in the future of Gaza”.

He agreed that “these kites sound innocent, but they have indeed done a significant amount of damage in financial terms, to fields, and there are significant risks”, adding: “It does not in any way help a resolution of issues if these projectiles continue to come from Gaza, and of course we condemn such actions”.

Conservative MP for Gordon, Colin Clark, expressed his concern that “the Hamas terrorist group continues to misappropriate international aid to rebuild its terror infrastructure, including attack tunnels into Israel”.

He emphasised that this is “deeply concerning”, and asked the Foreign Secretary what he “[intends] to do, alongside our international partners, to limit Hamas’s dangerous influence in Gaza?”

The Middle East Minister agreed that this was an issue that “must be dealt with”, highlighting the “strict controls” on the passage and entry of goods into Gaza.

Also in Foreign Office Questions, Minister Burt criticised recent resolutions brought forward by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which did not acknowledge Hamas’s recent role in violent protests on the Gaza border.

He underlined that “both the resolutions brought forward by the Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council were biased and not likely to produce the required answer”, and explained that this is why “we did not support them”.

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