THURSDAY 16 JULY 2015
- Treasury Statement on Counter-terrorist Asset Freezing also names Palestinian entities.
Commons Written Statements
- Foreign Secretary to attend 20 July Foreign Affairs Council where Ministers are expected to discuss what more the EU can do to support prospects for the middle east peace process, including the situation in Gaza.
Commons Written Statements
- Moved by Lord McConnell that this House takes note of the Responsibility to Protect:
– Lord Alderdice: There are lots of other smaller but chronic problems all around. In your Lordships’ House, we have often looked at the situation of Palestinians, particularly in Gaza. In many such situations, we cannot really look at the last 10 years and say that the situation has improved. [extract]
- Moved by Lord Alton on Freedom of Religion and Belief:
– Lord Carey: Intolerance seems to be spreading. There has recently been a spate of church and mosque burnings in Israel, which is very disappointing as Israel has every justification for claiming to be the only democratic nation in the Middle East. Among the buildings burnt was the famous Tabgha church, which commemorates the multiplication of loaves and fishes in the gospel story. [extract]
– Lord Palmer of Childs Hill: It may seem a paradox but the country in the Middle East that is most welcoming to Christians, as the noble and right reverend Lord, Lord Carey, mentioned in passing, is Israel. Christianity is one of the recognized religions in Israel and is practised by more than 161,000 Israeli citizens—about 2.1% of the population. In Israel, there are approximately 300 Christians who have chosen to convert from Islam. [extract]
- Baroness Tonge: How much of the money pledged to Gaza for aid and reconstruction by donors at the Cairo conference in October 2014 has so far been received?
Lords Written Answers
WEDNESDAY 15 JULY 2015
– David Cameron: They [ed: Labour leadership contenders] oppose every single one of our anti-strike laws; every single one of our welfare changes; and some of them even describe terrorist groups such as Hamas as their friends. [extract]
- Foreign Secretary’s Statement on the Iran Nuclear Deal:
– Liam Fox: If Iran has sanctions lifted and money pours back into that country, what assurances and guarantees have been sought that it will not simply be used to fund proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and provide greater instability to the region?
– Philip Hammond: Of course, we cannot be absolutely sure that it will not, but let me say two things. First, Iran has a huge deficit of infrastructure investment in its country—in its energy exporting infrastructure and in its transport infrastructure; it needs a new fleet of civilian aircraft—so there are huge demands for the use of those assets. The reformers in Iran, of whom President Rouhani is one, understand very well that this deal has to deliver real benefit to ordinary people in Iran as they go about their everyday business, and they will want to invest in those things. Secondly, with very little money available and under the full burden of international sanctions, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard command has made a pretty effective job of interfering in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and elsewhere. It is not as if this body was itching to do things but was unable to do them because it did not have the funds. It has been able to be pretty effective on a shoestring and we do not think, frankly, that the release of these funds will make a material difference. [extract]
– Louise Ellman: Iran currently supports the terrorist organisation Hamas in promoting terrorism in Gaza and elsewhere. What impact will the agreement have on this situation?
– Philip Hammond: It is obviously early days, but in an ideal world, as Iran becomes more engaged in the international community and more engaged in the affairs of the region, we will be more able to engineer a situation in which Iran’s leverage over organisations such as Hamas can be a force for good. We are not there yet, and we are not there automatically, but there is at last an opportunity to engage with Iran on these wider issues, which there has not been while the nuclear file has been hanging over us.
– Ian Austin: In response to an earlier question, the right hon. Gentleman referred to the potential release of $150 billion, which is utterly naive, given that while sanctions existed and its economy was in trouble, Iran still used its money to send thousands of rockets to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. [extract]
– Philip Hammond: The question we have to ask is what kind of a deal would have been welcomed in Tel Aviv. The answer, of course, is that Israel does not want any deal with Iran. It wants a permanent state of stand-off, which I do not believe is in the interests of the region or in our interest. [extract]
– Richard Bacon: When the Foreign Secretary sees the Israeli Prime Minister tomorrow, will he remind him that his own head of Mossad believes that the failure to solve the Palestinian conflict is a greater threat to Israeli security than a nuclear Iran?
– Philip Hammond: Now that my hon. Friend has reminded me of that, I shall certainly put it in my briefing note for the meeting.
Nos 1-2 Commons Oral Answers
- Baroness Tonge: Further to the Minister’s Written Answer of 3.7.15 [ed: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Lords/2015-06-22/HL710/], what progress has been made in discussions with the Israeli Defence Force Military Advocate General about ensuring accountability for the killing of four Palestinian children on the beach in Gaza in July 2014?
- Baroness Tonge: What discussions have HMG had with the governments of Egypt and Israel regarding the activity of ISIL in Gaza?
- Baroness Tonge: What discussions have HMG had with the government of Israel concerning the recent report that private land intended to be used for buffer zones is being used for Israeli land reserves and settlement agriculture?
Nos 3-5 Lords Written Answers
TUESDAY 14 JULY 2015
- Questions to the Foreign Secretary:
– Paula Sherriff: The UK voted for a UN resolution calling for Palestinian co-operation with the International Criminal Court’s preliminary investigation into the Gaza conflict. Can the Minister therefore confirm the Government’s support for Palestinian membership of the ICC?
– Tobias Ellwood: We debated this at length in Westminster Hall a couple of days ago. We had the resolution, which Britain eventually supported. It is for the ICC to make those judgments itself and we respect its decision.
Commons Oral Answers
- Daniel Poulter: What reports has Foreign Secretary received of ISIL-linked terrorists operating in Gaza?
Commons Written Answers
MONDAY 13 JULY 2015
- Wes Streeting: Will DfID Secretary take steps to support the residents of the village of Susiya in the West Bank in the event of the village being demolished?
- Wes Streeting: Will Foreign Secretary discuss with the Israeli government plans to demolish the Palestinian village of Khirbet Susiya in the West Bank?
- Stephen Doughty: What reports has Foreign Secretary received from the British consul to Jerusalem on his visit to Susiya in the West Bank on 8 June 2015?
- Stephen Doughty: What recent support has DfID provided to the residents of Susiya in the West Bank?
- Stephen Doughty: What discussions has DfID Secretary had with donor partners about contingency planning for providing humanitarian assistance to the residents of Susiya in the West Bank in the event that that village is removed?
- Stephen Doughty: What assessment has FCO made of the effect on the Middle East peace process of Israel’s policy of removing structures in the Occupied Palestinian Territories built without permits?