The UK government is ‘planning to introduce’ travel bans for Israeli settlers responsible for violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, foreign office minister Andrew Mitchell has told MPs.
The Foreign Office minister was asked by Labour about the possibility of introducing travel bans for those accused of settler violence, following shadow foreign secretary David Lammy’s visit to the Middle East.
Mitchell told the Commons:“The targeted killings of civilians are completely abhorrent and we are seeking that they should not just be arrested but also prosecuted and punished.
“In terms of his comment about travel bans, I can tell him that planning is going on.
“The Foreign Secretary (Lord Cameron) discussed this with his US counterpart last week and I hope it may be possible to say something about that shortly.”
Mitchell also gave an update on plans to get more aid into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom border crossing.
He told the Commons: “He asked finally about Kerem Shalom. I think that the position of Kerem Shalom is being enhanced at the moment, and I hope very much that that will lead to some facilitation but those discussions are ongoing at this time.”
Responding to criticism that Lord Cameron was not able to appear in the Commons, Mitchell said: “I recognise of course the enormous authority that Lord Cameron holds in these matters, and his (David Lammy’s) request that he should be available in the House.
“I will do my best to satisfy him on the questions that he has asked, but as he knows Lord Cameron is very keen to engage with the House of Commons in every possible way.”
Labour’s Lammy told the Commons that Israeli settlers involved in “attacks, serious criminal activity and fostering hatred” should be subject to travel bans.
The shadow foreign secretary said: “International diplomacy must focus on Gaza but it must also focus on further escalation in the West Bank and the wider region, including Lebanon.”
In relation to a UN resolution on the conflict in Gaza, Lammy said Labour wanted one that “properly condemned” the terrorism of Hamas.