Flotilla attack 'completely unacceptable' says Cameron

Pa
Wednesday 02 June 2010 18:02
Comments

The raid on the Gaza aid flotilla was "completely unacceptable" David Cameron said today.

In his first question time as Prime Minister, Mr Cameron said he deplored the loss of life.

"We should do everything we can to make sure this doesn't happen again," he told a crowded Commons, moments before Foreign Secretary William Hague was due to make a statement on the killing of several civilians in the Israeli-led raid.

"Friends of Israel - and I count myself a friend of Israel - should be saying to the Israelis that the blockade actually strengthens Hamas's grip on the economy and on Gaza, and it's in their own interests to lift it and allow these vital supplies to get through."

More than 40 Britons detained during the raid on the aid flotilla were being released and deported today.

In total, 679 people were taken prisoner during the Israeli military-led action which saw nine civilians killed.

Acting Labour leader Harriet Harman said: "This is a tragic loss of life which has angered the Palestinians and dismayed friends of Israel too.

"What's the current position of the British nationals detained by the Israelis?

"Will you tell us how the Government can contribute to international efforts to make the Israelis recognise that the blockade of Gaza is prolonging the suffering of the Palestinians and making peace in the middle east even harder to achieve.

"This blockade must end."

Mr Cameron told her: "What has happened is completely unacceptable. We should be clear about that and we should also deplore the loss of life - and I've spoken to the Prime Minister of Turkey to extend our condolences for the Turkish citizens who have been lost.

"We should do everything we can to make sure this doesn't happen again - and I stressed this point in a conversation with President Netanyahu of Israel."

Mr Cameron said 42 British nationals were "caught up" in the raid.

"I believe that around 37 of them have had consular access and all of them will be coming home, and we need to make sure they are reunited with their families as fast as possible."

He added: "We should do everything we can through the UN, where resolution 1860 is absolutely clear about the need to end the blockade and to open up Gaza."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in