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Parliament has resumed again, with the drama of the Queen’s Speech.  The debates around the Queen’s Speech have presented MPs and Peers with an opportunity to raise issues of concern about Palestinian human rights


1. Corrected copy of the 2013 FCO report on human rights and democracy

Commons Written Statements

2. Sammy Wilson: How much aid has DfID given to the PA in each of the last five years?

3. Sammy Wilson: What arrangements are in place to monitor the use of funds given to the PA?

4. Sammy Wilson: In the last five years has any UK aid given to the PA been distributed to prisoners convicted of terrorism-related activities or to such individuals after their release?

Nos 2-4>

5.  Mark Hoban: What recent representations has Foreign Secretary made to his Iranian counterpart on that country’s material and financial support for terror organisations? [Hugh Robertson: We have serious concerns about Iran’s support for, i.a., the PIJ and the military wing of Hamas.]

6.  Mike Freer: What assessment has Foreign Secretary made of recent reports that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that his organisation will not renounce violence or recognise Israel?  [Hugh Robertson refers to the answer he gave two days previously]

Nos 5-6

7.  Baroness Tonge:What discussions have HMG held with Israel concerning the reported destruction of fruit trees belonging to the Tent of Nations farm outside Nahalin village on 4 May and do they intend to encourage the payment of compensation?

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1. Debate on Queen’s Speech continued:

– Lord Hylton:Deplores continuing “merciless blockade of Gaza” and the daily growth of settlements “in direct contravention of international law”.  Says that nearly 50 years of occupation is unacceptable, as is the failure to provide a decent future for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. “I urge the United States, the EU and all other states of good will to help Israel to make the necessary change of direction. Zionism can no longer aspire to own the whole of mandated Palestine.” Welcomes PLO-Hamas reconciliation. “The [Palestinian] elections will give democratic legitimacy to a new Government and answer the taunts that Israel has no valid interlocutor. I therefore ask Her Majesty’s Government: what is their response to the Palestinian agreement and the new Government? Some in Israel and in Congress have condemned it unseen and unheard. I urge Ministers to remember the missed opportunities of the past. Will they give this new departure their fullest support? It certainly deserves it.”
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– Lord Williams of Baglan: Describes as poignant the prayer meeting of the Israeli and Palestinian presidents with Pope Francis, as they are the ones who signed the Oslo peace accords. “It was poignant, too, because President Peres will shortly step down as head of state, to be replaced by Reuven Rivlin, who has espoused the concept of a greater Israel.”  Says peace talks have halted with seemingly little pressure from the Quartet. “Tony Blair is now in his seventh year in his appointment as envoy of the quartet. A few more years and he will match his tenure in office as Prime Minister. He said in his speech last month that economics goes side by side with politics. On that he is clearly right. But, frankly, progress on either has been meagre. How could that be otherwise when one party—Israel—is a powerful nation state that controls nearly all the borders of Palestine and occupies most of the territory while continuing to build settlements?” Concludes by asking: “Do we still believe in peace between Israel and an independent Palestine? What are our hopes for a democratic Egypt? The Minister should answer these questions.”

– Lord Wallace of Tankerness (answering for the Government): In response to Lord Hylton, he says that reuniting Gaza and the WB under a government committed to peace is a necessary condition for resolving the Israel/Palestinian conflict and was welcomed by the UK and others. “It is very much in the long-term interests of Israel and of peace in the whole region for the two states to embrace a two-state solution, as I believe the alternatives to that would be much more difficult.” In his response to Lord Williams’ comments, he makes no further mention of Palestine.
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Lords Debates

2. Baroness Tonge: What action do HMG plan to take to ensure that the rights in international law of both Israel and Palestine become the starting point for any renewal of negotiations?
3. Baroness Tonge: What discussions have HMG held with Israel concerning reports of two Palestinian youths killed by live fire, and one critically injured, during the Nakba Day demonstration?
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Lords Written Answers

TUESDAY 10  JUNE  2014

1. Treasury statement on Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime – includes Palestinian entities.

Commons Written Statements

2. Mike Freer: What assessment has Foreign Secretary made of the implications for the MEPP of recent reports that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said his organisation will not renounce violence or recognise Israel?

Commons Written Answers

3. Andrew Love: What representations has Foreign Secretary made to his Israeli counterpart on the killing of two Palestinian teenagers at Ofer on 15 May 2014 and will he make a statement?

Commons Written Answers