Harriet Harman

Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham. Mother of the House of Commons

Military Detainment of Palestinian Children by the IDF

Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts. Labour will continue to urge the UK government to raise the issue of child military detention with their Israeli counterparts and I understand the Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt MP, is committed to doing so.

There can be little progress unless both sides are sure of their security. Sadly, at present the opposite is true. Peace and security are becoming ever harder to achieve because of the climate of increasing aggression and extremism and settlement building.

We need an end to the fear Israeli citizens feel whenever they hear air-raid sirens warning of rocket attacks or the latest reports of terror attacks on ordinary Israeli citizens. And we need an end to the anger and unfairness that has been felt by many Palestinian people since 1967, with their children growing up afraid, in poverty and deprivation, their homes bulldozed to make way for illegal settlements, and their futures offering just more of the same. It is a vicious cycle of fear and despair.

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