FRIDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2013
1. Ian Lucas: What recent discussions has Foreign Secretary had with US Secretary of State concerning the conflict between Israel and Palestine?
Commons Written Answers
THURSDAY 7 NOVEMBER 2013
1. First World War Commemoration:
– Chris Bryant: Remembers Captain Neil Primrose, Liberal MP, who died in the third battle of Gaza.
– Jeremy Corbyn: Sykes-Picot showed the intention of Britain and France to carve up the ME for themselves.
– Eric Ollerenshaw: For the ME, Sykes-Picot and the Balfour declaration are still live issues.
2. Ian Lucas: What assessment has Foreign Secretary made of recent economic progress in the WB? [Hugh Robertson: “Economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza declined from an average of 11% in 2010-11 to 6% in 2012 and has fallen further in 2013 (3% in Quarter 1). Unemployment remains persistently high, especially youth unemployment which hovers around one-third in the West Bank.”]
Commons Written Answer
3. Middle East: Situation of Women:
– Baroness Tonge: Hamas-led Government in Palestine was another example of a democratically elected government to be removed not at the ballot box but at the point of a gun.
– Lord Collins of Highbury: CARE International found that outlook for women in parts of the ME, including the OPTs, remains uncertain.
4. Lord Warner: What assessment have HMG made of World Bank estimate that alleviating Israeli restrictions on access to, and activity and production in, Area C, could add $3.4 billion per year to the Palestinian economy and what action do they intend to take?
5. Baroness Tonge: How much UK funding has gone to the Occupied Territories in both direct and indirect aid in last 10 years?
Nos 4-5 Lords Written Answers
WEDNESDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2013
1. Debate: Syria Refugees:
– Baroness O’Loan: More should be done for Jordan, where there are in excess of 2.5 million Palestinian and Syrian refugees.
– Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Some of them are Palestinians “who were living in the huge refugee camp in Damascus, which I have visited myself, and who have now been forced, for the second time, to move out to Jordan.”
– Lord Judd: “Can we promote international discussions about how to have a positive pre-emptive regional approach towards the long-term political issues?”
– Lord Wallace: We cannot solve all these complex problems but the MEPP between the Israelis and the Palestinians is again getting slowly under way.
2. Baroness Deech: Do HMG consider Palestinians who were born and live in Gaza and the West Bank to be refugees?
3. Baroness Deech: Does UNWRA keep records of the origins of Palestinians under its care, and, if so, how many such persons left Israel in 1948?
Lords Written Answers
TUESDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2013
1. Persecution of Christians in the Middle East – debate tabled by Fiona Bruce:
– Mark Field: Israel allows large degree of religious freedom for its 2% Christian and 16% Muslim population “irrespective of other elements of the problems that it faces within its borders”.
– Fiona Bruce: “I respect what is being done in Israel, although I must say that concerns are now being expressed in Palestine about increasing persecution there.”
– David Burrowes: Quotes Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal saying: “Does anybody hear our cry? How many atrocities must we endure before somebody, somewhere, comes to our aid?”
– Tony Baldry: “Joseph (father of Jesus Christ) would not be very wise today to move from the West Bank of Palestine to Egypt”.
– Guto Bebb: In Israel – “often vilified, not least in this place” – treats religious minorities well; Christians increased thousandfold since 1948 and serve in state organs, unlike in west bank, where they are down to about 2%.
– Ian Lucas: It is no coincidence that Israel, with its tolerance for religious minorities, is a democracy.
– Hugo Swire: “It is true that less than 2% of the population of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is Christian today, compared with 22% at the end of the British mandate in 1948. I heard what my hon. Friends said, but we continue to be concerned about access to holy sites for all, including Christians and Muslims.”
2. How do HMG assess impact of current prisoner releases on progress of peace negotiations – tabled by Lord Hylton:
– Lord Hylton: Will HMG do whatever is possible to discourage provocation—for example, by preventing attacks and retaliations, and rhetorical and impossible land claims?
– Lord Ahmad: “We are calling upon both sides, because the violence we have seen by extremist settlers and the rocket attacks on Gaza are derailing a peace process which really needs to reach a conclusion.”
– Lord Bach: What role might UK and the Quartet play in the next important few months?
– Lord Ahmad: Britain is working intensively to support all parties in their efforts to achieve a negotiated end to this conflict, which has gone on for far too long.
– Baroness Williams: Further steps to release yet more prisoners and a pause in the settlement policy, at least while the negotiations are continuing, would be very welcome.
– Lord Ahmad: Does not disagree.
– Lord Anderson: Prisoner releases painful to Israelis because of the nature of the offences.
– Lord Ahmad: Agrees.
– Lord Stoddart:
One of the greatest provocations is building on occupied land by the Israelis in direct contravention of the UN resolutions banning such building.
Lord Ahmad: Agrees.
Lord Grocott: Israel is quite deliberately making the situation more difficult by the continual expansion of the settlements. “Is it not also crystal clear that the longed-for, two-state solution, to which nearly everyone at least states themselves to be committed, becomes more and more difficult to achieve so long as that settlement activity continues?”
Lord Ahmad: “These peoples share a history but we have to look at the reality on the ground today, and we call upon both sides to recognise that they also share a future—one of peace and economic prosperity.”http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/131105-0001.htm#13110570000407
3. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of the number of construction units both completed and started in existing settlements in the Occupied Territories, including illegal outposts, since the peace talks began in July 2013?
Lords Written Answers
MONDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2013
1. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of the impact of recent Gaza tunnel closures on the importation of construction materials and what plans are there to re-house those displaced as a result of the blockade?
2. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of the risk of violent protest restarting throughout the West Bank and what action will they take to support the right to non-violent protest?
3. Baroness Deech: Have HMG made representations to Lebanon concerning access of Palestinian residents of Lebanon to higher education, certain professions and ownership of property?
4. Baroness Tonge: What framework of accountability is in place for the PA’s use of EU funds?
Nos 1-4 Lords Written Answers