Gaza: Humanitarian Situation - Commons Urgent Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 4:04 pm ar 17 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Purvis of Tweed Lord Purvis of Tweed Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (International Development), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 4:04, 17 Ebrill 2024

My Lords, the Minister is aware that starvation in conflict is expressly prohibited under customary international humanitarian law. Given the evidence that Samantha Power, the head of USAID, gave to Congress last week that famine is now setting in, this is a truly shocking revelation, especially in the context of the concerns of the Foreign Secretary that there are unnecessary blocks to food and supplies being brought into north Gaza in particular.

The Minister will also be aware of the concerns that defensive military equipment is being used to level civilian residential areas to render them uninhabitable in the future, which is also a breach of international law. Have His Majesty’s Government satisfied themselves that any equipment that the UK has supplied over the last number of years is not being used, either in the blockage of aid going into Gaza or indeed in the levelling of civilian areas? Does the Minister not agree that under the principle of proportionality, it would be right to pause export licences now until a full review has been carried out, so that we can satisfy ourselves that international humanitarian law is being adhered to?