Join us Donate

WEDNESDAY  9  JULY  2014 1. Lord Hylton: Will HMG make representations to Israel about military operations in the West Bank, including Areas A and B, following the kidnapping of three young Israelis; and will they raise the issues of proportionality and collective punishment in particular as they affect universities and other institutions? 2. Baroness Tonge: What contribution is made by Israel to NATO and NATO exercises? Nos 1-2> 3. Lord Hylton: Have HMG offered any assistance to the government of Israel in finding the three youths who were recently kidnapped? 4. Baroness Tonge: What steps are HMG taking to achieve a cross-party consensus in the UK on the case for recognition of the state of Palestine? Nos 3-4> Lords Written Answers


TUESDAY  8  JULY  2014

1. Lindsay Roy: What recent discussions has fI Secretary had with the Israeli government on its plans to liaise with the new Palestinian government to bring about improvements in the humanitarian situation in the border areas; and if she will make a statement? Read more> Commons Written Answers 2. HoC Foreign Affairs Committee questions Baroness Warsi about the FCO’s human rights work in 2013: [excerpt] – Andrew Rosindell: Finally, Minister, what is the British Government’s policy on Bedouin rights to ownership of land in the Negev Desert in Israel? – Warsi: Er… [laughs], now, that’s very specific. [fumbles through her papers] I can honestly say I do not know the answer to that. I will see if it is part of my brief. [she is handed various notes by her colleagues sitting alongside and behind her]. Ah! Well, I can tell you that [she reads] we continue to follow the debate around the issue of unresolved Bedouin land claims and unrecognised Bedouin villages in the Negev, and we urge the Israeli authorities and the Bedouin communities to engage in dialogue to agree a satisfactory solution which respects the equality of all of Israel’s citizens in a way which avoids forced relocations and is consistent with Israel’s commitments under international law. [she finishes reading] I’m not sure that takes it any further. So, what I will certainly do is go away and see if we have much more than that and possibly some specific examples of where we have engaged, whether we are running any projects there, when was the last time that our Ambassador there was engaged on this issue, and I’ll write to you about it. – AR: Well, as we give a lot of support to Israel in general terms, if they are breaching human rights of traditional peoples, of Bedouin, then surely the British Government should be taking a more active role in reminding the Israelis of their obligations to human rights to those citizens who live in the desert and have their rights as well. – Warsi: Well, I completely agree with you, and you’ll know that it’s a country of concern, and we’ve talked about some of the real concerns that we have on human rights abuses within Israel and the Occupied Territories. I suppose one bit of good news is that they have, Israel have finally come back to the UPR [Universal Periodic Review]. You’ll be aware that for a number of years, for a while they disengaged. And we were quite worried because it was the only country that had disengaged from the UPR; and therefore we made this point… I don’t think this point was lost when we had countries like Iran and the DPRK engaging with the UPR and we didn’t have Israel engaging in the UPR. And that gives us an opportunity to raise some of these issues through that review. – Mike Gapes: We’re not going have time to get into all the aspects of this, but… I don’t want to talk specifically about the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, but I’m struck by the massive numbers of emails I get from constituents who talk about that issue, but there are Palestinians today in refugee camps in Syria who are being bombed by Assad’s air force, at the Handarat camp, using barrel bombs, near Aleppo. And there are other Palestinians in Syria, in refugee camps, the Yarmouk camp, who are being shot at by the Nusra Front, the Islamist, Al-Qaida linked group. Why is it that these issues aren’t on the international agenda in the same way as issue that arise with regard to Israel and the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories? – Warsi: First of all I don’t think there’s a hierarchy of victimhood. I don’t think that one set of victims are more important or less important than other victims. And I think our approach in relation to human rights should be that anybody who’s persecuted anywhere is of concern to us and we should be prepared to raise those issues. I think there has been some discussion at the Human Rights Council in the past, and indeed, within the UN family. I think Israel does feel that it is sometimes singled out for criticism in a way that maybe other countries aren’t. And it feels sometimes that countries use the process of, for example the Human Rights Council, and in debates, to treat it in quite a specific different way. And I think that is an argument that we have to be prepared to understand. But I think that the alternative argument is – and this is put by probably the kind of people you have writing to you about these issues, that Israel is uniquely treated in a way much more favourably than if these human rights abuses were being committed somewhere else. And I think you’ll always find on both sides of the argument those people who say, Israel who will say we are being treated exceptionally and people are being too tough on us, and others who say we are being too lenient on Israel and we tolerate stuff we wouldn’t tolerate in other places. – MG: But my point is there are terrible things happening in Syria today, and not just to many Syrians, but also to many people who’ve fled to Syria as refugees, and in refugee camps. And yet very little publicity about it at all.” Hansard Video:  @ 1:21:31 Commons Committees MONDAY  7  JULY  2014 1. Home Secretary’s statement on her departmental responsibilities: Theresa May: [extract] “Last week I visited Israel and the OPTs to meet senior politicians from both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. During my visit, the bodies of the three abducted teenagers were discovered near Hebron. Since then, we have also heard about the terrible killing of a Palestinian teenager. No reason, belief or cause can justify the abduction and killing of innocent civilians. In spite of that harrowing news, I was able to hold encouraging discussions on how best to combat modern slavery as part of our efforts to garner greater international co-operation on that important issue.” Read more> Commons Oral Answers 2. Nadhim Zahawi: What assessment has Foreign Secretary made of the motivation of Hamas in kidnapping three Israeli teenagers on 12 June 2014? 3. Caroline Lucas: What steps did FCO take to help secure the release of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha’ar and Naftali Frankel, who were abducted in the West Bank on 12 June 2014? Nos 2-3 Commons Written Answers 4. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to Israel concerning its reported recent authorisation of the use of force during interrogations? Read more> 5. Baroness Tonge: What action are HMG taking to improve the availability of food in Gaza? Read more> Nos 4-5 Lords Written Answers