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1. Baroness Tonge: What progress have HMG made in persuading Israel to implement recommendations in the Children in Military Custody report?

2. Lord Hylton: Will HMG ensure that a reasonable proportion of British aid for Syrians and Palestinians fleeing Syria is devoted to those now in Egypt?

Nos 1-2 Lords Written Answers


1. “That this House has considered Holocaust Memorial Day”:

In this backbench debate lasting one and three quarter hours, the only reference to the Palestinians occurred in this oblique allusion by the mover of the motion, the former Middle East Minister:

Alistair Burt: “In my recent role I have been more acutely aware than ever of the pain in the Islamic world from so many sources, of the misery inflicted every day through sectarian violence, of that evil which flows through too many human hearts, and the pain of unresolved injustice, which perhaps this year might finally be addressed.” [editor’s italics]

Commons Debates

2. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of the impact on the Israel–Palestine peace process of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah and what action will they take to encourage such a reconciliation?

3. Baroness Tonge: What actions have HMG taken to discourage JCB from supplying equipment to the Israeli authorities for the construction of illegal settlements and destruction of Palestinian property?

4. Baroness Tonge: Have HMG invited Sir Stephen Sedley to review progress on the recommendations of the Children in Military Custody report, and, if so, when is his review expected?

Nos 2-4

Lords Written Answers


1. DfID Questions:

– Nia Griffith: Does DfID Secretary believe that the fuel, food and medical supplies entering Gaza meet the needs of the population?

– Alan Duncan: The collapse in fuel and medical supplies and rising food prices are exacerbating the already precarious situation.

– Nia Griffith: What is DfID doing to ensure Palestinians get better drugs supply and access to emergency care?

– Alan Duncan: Says that on his visit last week he learned that drug shortage has been a serious issue since c. 2007; outlines DFID support.

– Mike Freer: What representations has Minister made to Egypt on the steps they are taking to improve access?

– Alan Duncan: Tunnels from Egypt are now largely shut; DFID has had no direct talks with Egypt but he hopes to visit in next few months.

– Richard Burden: Makes emotional tribute to the late Del Singh, who did much to draw attention to the plight of Gazans. “Will the Minister join me in remembering Del Singh, and does he agree that Del will best be remembered by all of us redoubling our efforts to bring an end to the blockade of Gaza?”

– Alan Duncan: “It would be a tribute to him if we were all to raise the issue of the humanitarian challenge now facing Gaza. It is no exaggeration to say that, come the autumn, Gaza could be without food, without power and without clean water. One UN report predicts that it could become an unliveable place, meaning that it risks becoming unfit for human habitation.”

– Philip Hollobone: Will Minister impress on Egypt that “while we support the security crackdown in Sinai, it is important that they should make suitable provision for humanitarian assistance to cross the Egypt-Gaza border?”

– Alan Duncan: “Under international law and other obligations, primary responsibility rests with the occupying power, and it is to that end that we will continue to work closely with Israel in an attempt to alleviate the humanitarian pressure that Gaza currently faces.”

2. Topical Questions to DfID Secretary:

– Bob Blackman: Organisations operating in Palestine with UK taxpayers’ money are responsible for inciting hatred and violence against the Israeli people.”What action has my right hon. Friend taken either to persuade those organisations to desist from that iniquitous practice or to withdraw UK taxpayers’ money?”

– Justine Greening: Incitement to violence is something we raise with both sides; “We believe that President Abbas is committed to non-violence and peace, and DFID funding to the Palestinian Authority funds the salaries of an approved list of civil servants.”

– David Ward: The theme at Monday’s Holocaust Memorial Day events will be Journeys, including Journeys of Return. “Does the Secretary of State agree with me that our thoughts should include amongst many others the millions of displaced Palestinians who are still denied their right to return to their homes?”

– Alan Duncan: Right of Return is part of the negotiations and “we want to do all we can to underpin the best prospects for a successful conclusion, which are predicted to occur by the end of April.”

3. PMQs:

– Andy Slaughter: “May I also thank the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition for their kind words about my friend Del Singh, who devoted his too-short life to working for peace and justice, not least in Palestine and Afghanistan?”

Nos 1-3 Commons Oral Answers

4. St John Ambulance debate:

– Sir Tony Baldry: The Order of St John and St John Ambulance work with the St John Eye Hospital in Palestine, the only eye hospital to which Palestinians have access.

– Julian Brazier: Mentions that a friend of his is also involved in the St John eye clinics in Palestine.

Westminster Hall

5. Henry Bellingham: How many times has Foreign Secretary made representations to his Israeli counterpart on the situation in the OPTs in each of the last 12 months?

6. Karen Buck: What assessment has DfID Secretary made of the adequacy of food and medical supplies entering Gaza daily?

7. David Ward: What aid is HMG giving to displaced Palestinians in Jordan?

8. Philip Hollobone: Do DfID funds aimed at supporting education in Gaza support the Pioneers of Liberation programme or are they ring fenced from it?

Nos 5-8 Commons Written Answers

9. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of the current situation of families in Gaza made homeless by the floods?

Lords Written Answers

TUESDAY   21   JANUARY  2014

1. Mark Pawsey: What recent assessment has Foreign Secretary made of the treatment of Palestinian child detainees?

2. Nia Griffith: What recent discussions has Foreign Secretary had with Israel on implementing the recommendations of the “Children in Military Custody” report?

Nos 1-2 

Commons Written Answers

3. Lord Hylton: Will HMG provide a breakdown showing what proportion of the 66 million dollars of European-supported development and humanitarian projects in the OPTs has been allocated to schools, housing, and other facilities?

4. Baroness Tonge: What recent discussions have HMG had with Israel concerning civilian and particularly child fatalities in the West Bank and Gaza in 2013?

Nos 3-4 Lords Written Answers


1. UN Syrian Refugees Programme:

– Sir Gerald Kaufman: Pleads special attention for plight of Palestinian refugees in al-Yarmouk camp; “the Palestinian refugees have no home to go to, and their plight must be given special attention in the overall tragedy.”

– Jeremy Corbyn: Syria has hosted Palestinian refugees from Iraq; they are being bombed in al-Yarmouk; “Will the Minister think again and join in a UN programme to give safety to the most vulnerable refugees?”

Commons Debates

2. Dame Tessa Jowell: Will Foreign Secretary (1) make urgent representations to Israel concerning the conditions under which Palestinian children are arrested and detained within the first 24 hours of their arrest; (2) what representations has he made to Israel about the 40 recommendations made in the report, Children in Military Custody, published in June 2012; (3) what steps have HMG taken to ensure that specific legal duties and obligations under article 1of the Fourth Geneva convention, to respect and to ensure respect for the convention in all circumstances, are being honoured in relation to the detention of children in military custody in the occupied territories?

Commons Written Answers