ISRAEL VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL LAW

The British government has accused Israel of violating international law by its blockade of Gaza but stopped short of describing the siege as “collective punishment” of the Palestinians.

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The British government has accused Israel of violating international law by its blockade of Gaza but stopped short of describing the siege as “collective punishment” of the Palestinians. “Although there is no permanent physical Israeli presence in Gaza, given the significant control that Israel has over Gaza’s borders, airspace and territorial waters, Israel retains obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention as an occupying power,” Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch-Brown said. The minister was responding to a question from Labour peer Lord Northfield on whether the British government regard the blockade in Gaza as a collective punishment of Gazans, if they view it as disproportionate and whether it violates international law. Malloch-Brown argued that “rather than focus on whether the restrictions at any given time amount to collective punishment, we have consistently pressed the Israeli Government to comply with their obligations under international law and allow passage of relief supplies.” This, he said, was the message Foreign Secretary David Miliband delivered in his meetings with Israeli leaders during his recent visit to the region.