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British member of parliament suggests sanctions on israel

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Apr. 11, 2006 13:01 | Updated Apr. 11, 2006 13:10
British MP suggests sanctions on Israel

A legislator on Tuesday said sanctions should be imposed against Israel if it does not hand over those suspected of responsibility for killing two British civilians.

Gerald Kaufman, a Labour Party lawmaker who has frequently criticized Israel, called for trials either in Britain or before an international tribunal for those accused of killing peace activist Tom Hurndall and filmmaker James Miller in 2003.

A coroner's jury on Monday ruled that Hurndall, 22, had been intentionally killed while acting as a human shield, and another jury concluded last week that Miller, 34, had been murdered.

One soldier was convicted in Israel of killing Hurndall but no one was convicted in the Miller case.

"One possibility is to ask for those who are accused of these murders to be brought to Britain to be tried in this country," Kaufman said in an interview with BBC radio.

"The second is to put them before an international war crimes tribunal. If the Israelis don't agree to either of those then I think we have got to consider economic sanctions against Israel," he added.

But Andrew Dismore, Vice Chairman of the Labour Friends of Israel group in Parliament, said such action would achieve little.

"Obviously we have to have great sympathy for the families of the two British citizens who have been killed, but the fact remains that Israel is a democracy, it operates under the rule of law," Dismore said.

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