The Foreign Secretary should come to the Commons and condemn the actions of “Israeli terrorists” suspected of abducting and murdering a Palestinian teenager in a reprisal attack, a Labour MP said today.
Sir Gerald Kaufman (Manchester Gorton) said all attacks on children should be condemned and urged the Government to make a further statement on on-going problems in the Middle East.
On Tuesday, Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson made a Commons statement on the death of the three Israelis after he was called to answer an Urgent Question on the issue.
Palestinians have accused Israeli extremists of abducting and killing an Arab teenager and burning his body, sparking hours of clashes in east Jerusalem and drawing charges that the youth was murdered to avenge the killings of three kidnapped Israelis.
Amid rapidly rising tensions in the region, Israeli troops have also begun moving to the Gaza Strip border amid intensifying rocket barrages.
Addressing Commons Leader Andrew Lansley during the weekly business statement, Sir Gerald said: “Will you ask the Foreign Secretary to make an urgent statement in which he condemns the murder by Israeli terrorists of the Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir who was kidnapped yesterday and with the outcome of the hysteria, deliberately provoked by the Israeli Prime Minister following the murder and kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers.
“Will you ask the Foreign Secretary to send our sympathy to the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and will you join with the American Secretary of State John Kerry who has described this murder as sickening? And will you ask the Foreign Secretary to make clear to the Israelis that we expect nothing more than the hunting down and bringing to justice of the murderers of this poor boy?”
Mr Lansley replied: “You quite rightly say, the murders of all teenagers are sickening, something the Government very much condemns.
“We condemn the abduction and murder of the Israeli teenagers and the abduction and murder of a Palestinian teenager.
“It is vital those who are responsible are held accountable, we welcome in that respect Israel’s commitment to bring those responsible to justice and President Abbas’ firm condemnation of the abduction of youngsters.
“It is essential, as you know, to avoid any action or indeed rhetoric that could lead to further loss of life.”
Mr Lansley pledged to draw Sir Gerald’s remarks to William Hague’s attention.
Later, Tory MP Robert Halfon (Harlow) raised a point of order in relation to Sir Gerald’s remarks.
He said: “I fear the wrong impression has been given to this House. The Israeli prime minister and Jerusalem mayor condemned the death of the Palestinian in Israel in the past few days and there is no evidence this atrocity was carried out by an Israeli.”