THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER 2013
1. Bishop of Coventry: Further to 10 October WA [viz http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/131010w0001.htm#13101060000148], and in light of 14 October UNICEF progress report on treatment of children in Israeli military detention, what representations have HMG made to Israel about the conformity of such practice with international standards?
2. Lord Hylton: Will HMG make representations to Israel about the application of the EU Guidelines published in July concerning Israeli entities and activities in the OTs of the Golan, West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza?
Lords Written Answers
WEDNESDAY 30 OCTOBER 2013
1. Richard Burden: Would it require a commitment by UK and other Western European states not to discuss Israel and OPTs within article 7 discussions for Israel to renew co-operation with UNHCR? [Hugh Robertson: Israel announced on 27 October that it will be take part in the Universal Periodic Review process.]
Commons Written Answers
2. Debate on Syria:
– Baroness Symons: If the stability of Jordan, which has been a positive force for moderate politics in relation to Israel and Palestine comes under severe threat because of the huge influx of Syrian refugees, we shall all be the poorer.
– Earl of Sandwich: One can compare Jordan’s situation to that of UNWRA with the Palestinian refugees in 1948 and 1967.
– Lord Empey: (extract) “The right reverend Prelate [Bishop of Coventry] raised the issue of a right of return. We have been talking about a right of return in the Middle East for years but it has not happened. Indeed, for some people there is not even any physical opportunity to return, as their dwellings and properties have been concreted over and taken by others.”
– Lord Judd: Added to the Palestinian refugees already there, the number of refugees in Jordan has now reached more than a quarter of the total population.
TUESDAY 29 OCTOBER 2013
1. Questions to FCO:
– Alex Cunningham: What assessment has Minister made of the treatment of Palestinian child detainees in Israel?
– Hugh Robertson: Despite some progress, we retain serious concerns; our ambassador wrote again to Israeli Justice Minister on 14 October to urge further action.
– AC: Commends “Children in Military Custody” report; asks Minister to outline what action he is taking and how many recommendations have been carried out?- HR: I will be taking that up next week when I visit the region for the first time.
– James Clappison: Issue of child detainees inextricably linked to peace process; with cross-border tunnel Hamas literally undemines it.
– Speaker Bercow: Says that was a “cheeky attempt”; asks Minister to keep to the topic.
– HR: I will raise this during my visit next week.
– Andy Slaughter: Will he also raise it that Israel is the only country to try children in military courts and that imprisoning them inside Israel is against international law?
– HR: We support Baroness Scotland’s report; I will do everything I can to ensure that its recommendations are properly and correctly implemented.
– David Burrowes: The problem stems from Palestinian children being infected by hate education which is supported by PA; wants assurance that taxpayer funding does not support such activities.
– HR: Gives that assurance.
– Philip Hollobone: What recent assessment has Foreign Secretary made of how close Iran is to producing a ballistic missile capable of being delivered to Tel Aviv or Riyadh?
– William Hague: Most large ME cities and some major cities in Europe are within range of Iran’s medium-range ballistic missiles.
– PH: Is not Iran’s apparent enthusiasm for talks just a smokescreen to dissuade Israel from undertaking military engagement?
– WH: We have to test to the full Iran’s willingness to negotiate.
– Jeremy Corbyn: When will there be a conference that will include Israel on establishment of a nuclear weapons-free ME?
– WH: A Finnish facilitator is trying to assemble such a conference and we will continue to press for it.
– Guto Bebb: UK-Israel trade grew in last decade by over 60%; life sciences trade between Wales and UK doing especially well.
– Hugo Swire: Welcomes flourishing trade as a result of techno-hub.
– Ann McKechin: When will Minister issue guidance to UK businesses through the overseas business risk register on trade with illegal settlements?
– HR: We will update our online guidance for citizens and businesses on overseas markets, including Israel and OPTs in the coming weeks.
– AM: Will Minister urgently review documentation on UK Trade & Investment website’s “Doing Business in Israel” section, which, according to Oxfam, encourages British businesses to invest in settlements in Jordan valley by giving details of Israeli grants available for settlements businesses?
– HR: Yes, but we work in concert with our EU partners in producing guidelines that affect this issue.
– Roger Williams: Will HMG use influence of UK-Israel trade relationship to make progress on peace, particularly in relation to the settlements?
– HR: Yes, of course, we will.
– Louise Ellman: Rocket attacks have resumed, Hamas threatens to restart suicide attacks. Will Minister condemn Hamas call for Palestinians to withdraw from peace talks and launch third intifada? Is PA sufficiently strong and well motivated to resist that call?
– WH: PA certainly well motivated; President Abbas is a courageous man of peace; I absolutely condemn any encouragement to him to withdraw from peace process.
Commons Oral Answers and Topical Questions
2. Debate: The situation of religious minorities in ME and North Africa after the events of the Arab Spring:
– Lord Wakefield: The Arab Christians in Palestine are among the oldest Christian communities: “In Israel they are fleeing their ancestral land and homes. Many of your Lordships will know the statistics, and the numbers seem to increase as the weeks, months and years go by. Alongside the events in Syria, Iraq and Egypt, it is a human tragedy of historic proportions.”
– Lord Ahmad: Decline of Christians particularly in the Holy Land is in part economically driven, “but undoubtedly the conditions that prevail in that region also contribute to migration from that area.http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/131029-gc0001.htm#13102978000372
Lords Grand Committee
3. Lord Hylton: What representations have HMG made to Israel about use of attack-dogs and firing of rubber-coated bullets at non-violent civilian demonstrators in recent years in OPTs?
4. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of recent report by Kerem Navot “Israeli Settler Agriculture as a Means of Land Takeover” in WB?
5. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of number of structures demolished in WB Area C in first half of 2013 that are scheduled for rebuilding?
6. Baroness Tonge: What research has been conducted into the effects of Israeli industrial pollutants from the Barqan settlement on the health of Palestinians living in Bruqeen village?
7. Baroness Tonge: In the light of DfID support for “the right to legal representation for the Palestinians” as stated in its Palestinian Programme Operational Plan 2011–15, has that support resulted in any Palestinian civilians with life-changing injuries securing compensation through the Israeli legal system?
8. Lord Hylton: How many British citizens have been killed in the OPTs, including Gaza, since January 1993; and has Israel accepted responsibility in any of those cases, to what effect?
Nos 3-8 Lords Written Answers
MONDAY 28 OCTOBER 2013
1. Hugh Robertson (in answer to question from Neil Parish about Iran): Reports suggest Iran continues to transfer arms within ME, including to Gaza.
Commons Written Answers
2. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to Israel concerning the three Palestinian civilians killed by live fire in Qalandia refugee camp on 26 August, and the civilian killed in Jenin refugee camp on 20 August?
Lords Written Answers