MP calls for Isreal arms suspension

Lancaster MP Cat Smith
Lancaster MP Cat Smith

Lancaster’s MP Cat Smith has suggested the suspension of the UK’s arms trade with Israel as a response to the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes.

Speaking in Parliament, the Labour MP, who represents Lancaster and Fleetwood, asked Tobias Ellwood - The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – what steps he planned to take in response to the demolition of Palestinian homes to make way for Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem.

Mr Ellwood responded: “Demolitions are an impediment to the two-state solution and, in all but the most limited circumstances, contrary to international humanitarian law.

“We have made our concerns clear to the Israeli Government, and I raised our objections with the Israeli national security adviser last week and during my visit to the occupied territories in October.”

In response, Ms Smith said: “I welcome those steps, but that is broadly the same answer Ministers have been giving for a number of years. The demolitions are breaches of the fourth Geneva convention on war crimes. Given that the demolitions are continuing in spite of these steps, is it not time to consider stronger action, such as the suspension of the arms trade with Israel?”

Mr Ellwood said that the “complex issues” have perplexed MPs and the international community, and called for further talks with Israel now the elections there are over.