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MP’s call for sanctions against Israel over shootings

From The Telegraph

Economic sanctions against Israel should be considered if the country refuses to put its soldiers before the courts in the UK over the death of two British peace activists, an MP has said.

Sir Gerald Kaufman, Labour MP for Manchester Gorton, claimed there was an element in the Israeli military which was “out of control”.

He was speaking about the deaths of Tom Hurndall, 22, and James Miller, 34, who were both shot in the Gaza Strip in 2003.

Yesterday an inquest jury returned a verdict that Mr Hurndall had been “intentionally killed” by a soldier and last week an inquest found Mr Miller had been murdered by the Israeli Defence Force less than a mile away in Rafah three weeks later.

Sir Gerald told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “One possibility is to ask for those who are accused of these murders to be brought to Britain to be tried in this country.

“The second is to put them before an international war crimes tribunal.

“If the Israelis don’t agree to either of those then I think we have got to consider economic sanctions against Israel.

“The fact that she violates international norms is not justified because she has been a victim of international terrorism.”

But Hendon MP Andrew Dismore, who is also vice chairman of the Labour Friends of Israel group, said Israel had carried out its own judicial inquiries into the deaths and the country was a democracy.

He said: “I don’t think it is going to add a great deal to the position.

“Obviously we have to have great sympathy for the families of the two British citizens who have been killed but the fact remains that Israel is a democracy, it operates under the rule of law.”

He added: “Frankly if we are trying to get a settlement in the Middle East I don’t think talking about war crimes is going to take things a great deal further.”