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Portsmouth MP urges Government to call on Israel to comply with the ICJ ruling on its operation in Gaza

By 14 March 2024No Comments

Stephen Morgan MP used Attorney General Questions in the House of Commons today to highlight concerns raised with him by constituents and Medical Aid for Palestinians, regarding Israel’s continued failure to comply with the interim ruling issued by the International Court of Justice.

It follows a series of meaningful and extensive actions undertaken by the Portsmouth MP to call on the Government to do all it can to work with international partners to secure an end to fighting, the release of hostages and for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

Mr Morgan has been calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire for some time. This reflects the position of key UK allies including Australia, Canada and New Zealand for an immediate end to the fighting and urged the Government to convene an urgent session of the UN Security Council to press this demand.

The past few months have seen an appalling terrorist attack on Israel and the taking of hostages followed by intolerable loss of life and a dire humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza.

In January 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) handed down an interim ruling under the Genocide Convention in the case brought by South Africa against Israel, where it affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself but expressed “considerable concern” about Israel’s ongoing conduct in Gaza.

The judgement set out urgent measures that it said Israel must take to prevent further civilian loss of life.

The City MP has consistently been calling on the Foreign Secretary to take action, lobbying Government, submitting parliamentary questions and writing to Ministers to urge Israel to comply with international law and to comply with the ruling in the ICJ.

However, the UK government had not so far publicly urged Israel to comply or affirmed its respect for the authority of the ICJ.

Meanwhile, the flow of aid into Gaza remains unacceptably restricted, reports of attacks on Gazan healthcare facilities are widespread, the situation in the West Bank has continued to worsen, and Israel continues to threaten an invasion of Rafah.

Stephen Morgan MP asked the Government:  

It is now 7 weeks since the International Court of Justice issued its interim ruling on Israel’s conduct in Gaza. Not only has the Netanyahu Government failed to comply with that ruling, but we are still waiting for the UK Government to urge them to do so.

Will the Attorney General take the opportunity today, to call on Israel, to take the steps ordered by the Court?

The city MP visited the Occupied Palestinian Territories in September with Medical Aid for Palestinians to see firsthand the support they provide to communities in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and refugee camps. You can learn more about his visit here.

Mr Morgan is continuing to call on the Government to convene an urgent UN Security Council Meeting to bring international agreement to work towards an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. You can read his most recent letter to the Minister for International Development here.

Commenting, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:

”It is disappointing the Attorney General did not use her meetings with the Israeli Government to urge them to comply with the specific measures outlined in the ICJ ruling.

“The ICJ ruling was a profoundly serious moment in this conflict. Labour has been clear throughout the conflict that international law must be upheld, that the international courts must be respected, and that all sides must be accountable for their actions.

“I will continue to highlight concerns raised with me by constituents and Medical Aid for Palestinians to lobby the Government to come together with our international partners to say enough is enough – we need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire”.

Stephen’s actions on these issues are well documented with regular updates to his website and questions raised in Parliament in the public domain. Information about this can be found here.