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Syrian Refugees (Schooling) – tabled by Gordon Brown:

– Alan Duncan: “When she was in Lebanon in January, the Secretary of State announced that £4 million will be made available for 300,000 packs of textbooks for all children between the ages of six and 15 who attend state schools in Lebanon, including Syrian and Palestinian refugees.” [Extract from his summing up]

Commons Debates


What plans do HMG have to license use of water cannons on UK mainland – asked by Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb:

– Lord Harris of Haringey: “The ACPO report cites three occasions in the past decade on which water cannon might have been used: the Countryside Alliance demonstration in Parliament Square in 2004; the Gaza demonstrations against the Israeli embassy in 2008-09; and, potentially—it says “potentially”—the student protests of 2010.” [extract]

Lords Debates


1. Naomi Long: What assessment has Foreign Secretary made of the regional effect of the Government’s approach to trade with Israel?

Commons Written Answers

2. Lord Turnberg: Have HMG had discussions with the PA about the delays imposed by its Ministry of Health on the transfer of medical supplies to Gaza?

3. Baroness Tonge: What immediate action have HMG discussed with Israel and the EU in order to get drinking water to the inhabitants of Gaza?

4. Baroness Tonge: What action do HMG intend to take to encourage accountability in Gaza; and do they support the trial in international courts of soldiers and militants on both sides suspected of violations of international law?

5. Lord Hylton: What discussions have HMG had, or plan to have, with Israel about allowing into Gaza building materials to complete UNWRA projects approved by the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories? What plans do they have to organise a demarche to Israel, from all states contributing to UNWRA, concerning (1) the rate of approval of new projects in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, (2) the costs incurred by UNRWA when importing materials into Gaza, and (3) whether UNRWA should receive any reimbursement from Israel of costs incurred while importing materials into Gaza?

Nos 2-5 

6. Lord Hylton: Will HMG make representations to Israel for the early release and trial of the following individuals from the village of Hares who have been in custody since March 2013: (1) Ali Shamlawi, (2) Mohamed Kleit, (3) Mohamed Mehdi Suleiman, (4) Tamer Souf, and (5) Ammar Souf?

7. Baroness Tonge: Have HMG provided any funding for the residential and other structures which the IDF demolished on 26 January in the Bedouin villages of Ibziq and Khirbet Yarza; and what recent discussions have they held with Israel concerning reparations for IDF demolition of EU-funded structures?

8. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to Israel concerning the recent death of Mohammed Mubarak?

Nos 6-8

9. Baroness Tonge: What discussions have HMG had with Israel concerning Palestinian children killed by the IDF in 2013, and what effect, if any, have their discussions concerning the use of live fire had in limiting fatalities?

10. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of the number of elected parliamentarians of the PLC currently held in Israeli prisons?

Nos 9-10

11. Baroness Tonge: What are HMG’s policy objectives in respect of Israeli settlers living in the WB?

12. Baroness Tonge: What is the cost to the Exchequer of maintaining the Office of the Quartet Representative; and what estimate have HMG made of the economic successes of the Quartet in the last ten years?

13. Reason for delay in the completion of the Chilcott Inquiry -[tabled by Lord Morris of Aberavon]

– Lord Alderdice: [extract] Perhaps it is that our friends in the United States are very nervous about some of the conversations between the two Prime Ministers, Mr Brown and Mr Blair, and the President. I am a friend of the United States and I think we have an extremely important relationship, but good friends sometimes disagree honestly. Indeed, we are not good friends if all we ever have to say is that we support the United States. I hear this all the time with the Middle East peace process.

Read the debate>

Watch the debate> @ 19:50:15

Lords Question for Short Debate

14. Foreign Affairs Select Committe: UK policy towards Iran

Witnesses: Professor Alan Johnson, Senior Research Fellow, BICOM, and Oren Kessler, Director, Centre for the New Middle East, Henry Jackson Society. Although at one point Prof. Johnson insists he does not speak for Israel, both he and Oren Kessler present the classic Israeli arguments for not trusting Iran.

“Alan Johnson [extract (@ 14:54:19]:  It isn’t a country which is just self-defensive. It projects power in the form of a very active organisation and funding in the direction of proxy forces. So, the destabilisation of a moderate state like Lebanon, and the funding and support for Hezbollah, who currently have 60,000 rockets aimed at Israel, the destabilisation of the Palestinian national movement, I would argue,  pushing forward Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, rockets falling on southern Israel from ….. [interrupted]”

Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons was alluded to only once during the session:

“John Baron [extract @15:23:11] We talked a bit earlier about your fear that a nuclear Iran would instigate and arms race in the region. I mean, if you look around the region there’s also no shortage of countries that have nuclear weapons. Does that not bear in the calculation at all, the fact that countries like Pakistan, Israel, are members of the nuclear family – well, as far as we can tell – but are not signatories to the NPT?

“Alan Johnson: Well, I think the Israeli government’s nuclear posture of ambiguity has been in place for about 40 years now and certainly hasn’t caused a nuclear proliferation in the region, hasn’t been a factor of aggression in the region, provoking other countries, and so on.”

Watch the select committee hearing> 


1. Matthew Offord: What steps is DfID taking to end aid dependency through the creation of jobs in Gaza?

Commons Written Answers

2. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to Israel concerning the imprisonment of Mohamed Bader?

Lords Written Answers