Foreign Secretary ‘worried’ that Israel may have broken international law

In an exchange with MPs, David Cameron says he worries ‘every day’ that Israel is breaking international law


Cameron at the committee

British Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said Israel "might have taken action" in breach of international law in Gaza. In a tense exchange with parliament's foreign affairs committee on the war in Gaza, Cameron said he was "worried" Israel may have broken international law, as he confirmed two British nationals are still being held hostage in Gaza.

During the question and answer session, MPs probed Cameron and asked him if Israel could be vulnerable to a challenge at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Cameron said that some incidents in Gaza had raised questions over whether there had been breaches of international law.

Foreign Affairs Committee chair Alicia Kearns asked Lord Cameron if he had received advice from government lawyers about Israel being in breach of international law.

The foreign secretary said it was not his job to make a "legal adjudication".

“Am I worried that Israel has taken action that might be in breach of international humanitarian law because this particular premises has been bombed, or whatever, yes of course I’m worried about that.”

Cameron went on: “That’s why I consult the foreign office lawyers when giving this advice”.

“I’m happy to say yes, of course, every day I look at what has happened and ask questions”. The foreign secretary continued: "Is this in line with international humanitarian law? Could the Israelis have done better to avoid civilian casualties?”

The government has backed Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas but has also called on the IDF to show restraint, and are now calling for a “sustainable ceasefire.”

“The advice has been so far, that they [Israel] have the commitment, the capability and the compliance [with international law], but on lots of occasions that is under question.”

The former PM received a peerage to take the post of foreign secretary because he is no longer a sitting MP. His appearance at the committee on Tuesday was the first time that MPs were able to scrutinise the new foreign secretary since he was appointed to the role last year.

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