Don Foster MP

News

Don Foster pushes for answers about use of tear gas in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

December 21, 2023 by admin in Don in Parliament, News

20 December 2023

Alistair Burt MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street

LONDON

SW1A 2AH

Our Ref: XXXXXXXX

Re:

I enclose a letter and an article which I have received from one of my constituents, Mr xxxxxx, of xxxxx,Bath.

The death of Mustafa Tamimi is another example of people suffering from the misuse of tear gas in Israel and The Occupied Palestinian Territories. We have witnessed a series of deaths and injuries in recent years from tear gas canisters being fired directly at crowds. Tristan Anderson of Oakland California is suffering from brain damage, paralysis and seizures after he was hit in the head by a canister at a 2009 demonstration[i].

The Israeli army has described Mr Tamimi’s death as an ‘exceptional incident’[ii]; sadly we know this to not be the case. IDF regulations prohibit firing tear gas directly at people. It would appear though that the military regularly violates its own regulations at Palestinian demonstrations in the West Bank. In April 2009, Bassem Abu-Rahmah, from the village of Bil’in, was killed by a tear gas canister that struck him in the chest[iii]. B’Tselem has been warning officials about security forces’ fire tear-gas canisters directly at persons during demonstrations for some time now[iv].

I would urge you therefore to raise this issue at the next possible opportunity with the Israeli authorities. To my knowledge no soldier or commander has ever been arrested for firing tear gas canisters directly at people. This lack of accountability only entrenches the problem.

I would be most interested in your thoughts on this matter so I can best respond to my constituent reassuring him that this is an issue the British government is taking seriously.

I look forward to your response.

Don Foster MP

Please reply to31 James Street West,Bath,BA1 2BT

Tel: 01225 338 973 Fax: 01225 463 630