Israels killing rage undermining legal basis for Gaza action warns Ben Wallace

18/12/2023

Israel’s ‘killing rage’ undermining legal basis for Gaza action, warns Ben Wallace

The former defence secretary says Israel’s “original legal authority of self-defence is being undermined by its own actions”

Former defence secretary Ben Wallace has warned Israel that it risks undermining the legal basis for its action in the Gaza Strip, adding to growing international pressure over the escalating conflict.

Writing in the Telegraph, the senior Tory warned against a “killing rage” and said Israel’s “original legal authority of self-defence is being undermined by its own actions”.

The intervention by Mr Wallace, who left office earlier this year, is the latest warning to Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration amid deepening concern over the scale of civilian casualties.

It comes after Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron called for a “sustainable ceasefire”, as he warned that “too many civilians have been killed” in a joint article with his German counterpart in the Sunday Times.

The US, Israel’s main ally, has also expressed growing unease about the conduct of the war.

On Sunday French foreign minister Catherine Colonna called for an “immediate truce” aimed at releasing more hostages, getting larger amounts of aid into Gaza and moving towards “the beginning of a political solution”.

Mr Wallace warned: “Netanyahu’s mistake was to miss the (Hamas) attack in the first place.

“But if he thinks a killing rage will rectify matters, then he is very wrong. His methods will not solve this problem. In fact, I believe his tactics will fuel the conflict for another 50 years.”

He said he was not “calling for a ceasefire with Hamas”, but instead that Israel “needs to stop this crude and indiscriminate method of attack”.

The Israeli offensive, triggered by the unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, has flattened much of northern Gaza and driven 85% of the territory’s population of 2.3 million from their homes.

Aid groups have warned of a spiralling humanitarian crisis as the bombardment continues.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has spoken about her growing fears for her relatives, who are among a group of Christians who have sought shelter in a church compound in Gaza City.

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem over the weekend said two Christian women in the Holy Family Church had been killed by Israeli sniper fire “in cold blood” and seven others were wounded, in an incident condemned by church leaders.

Junior foreign minister Lord Ahmad said he was “shocked” by the reports and urged Israel to follow international law.

Ms Moran has warned that her family in Gaza have no electricity, no water or food and described them as “basically besieged”.

“I just don’t want them to die. Honestly, that’s where I’m at. We are a week before Christmas. This is a church,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour.

“I want to see them survive to Christmas. And I’m, at this moment in time, not at all sure that’s going to happen.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub



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