THURSDAY 24 JULY 2014
1. To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to ensure that humanitarian aid is reaching Israel and Palestine – Question tabled by the Earl of Courtown [James Stopford]. Baroness Northdown replied. Other speakers:
– Lord Turnberg: “The tragedy that is occurring in this terrible carnage in Gaza can be stopped immediately if Hamas stops firing its missiles that it is storing in UN schools and hospitals. However, my question is: what conversations have the Government had with the Government of Qatar about the funding that they have been giving to Hamas to build tunnels into Israel and to buy missiles from Iran, instead of using that money for infrastructure and aid?”
– Bns Nicholson: How much of the aid is reaching the real beneficiaries?
– Lord Sacks: Israel not blind to humanitarian concerns, but “missiles are stored in schools, rocket launchers are placed beside hospitals, ambulances are used to transport terrorists, entrances to tunnels are set inside apartment blocks and civilians are used as human shields.”
– Lord Campbell-Savours: “Hamas said last night that the rockets will stop in the event that the Israeli Government lift the siege and blockade of Gaza. If we are being serious about stopping those rockets, why cannot we exert extreme pressure on the Israeli Government to cease their policy of blockading Gaza?”
– Lord Dykes: “Will my noble friend explain to the House why the UK Government and other European countries abstained on the war crimes resolution, which was passed by a majority in the United Nations and will have to be followed up, including, of course, as regards any war crimes by Hamas?”
Lords Oral Answers
2. Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Motion to Take Note, moved by Lord Alton:
– Lord Hylton: “In the Middle East outside Iraq, violence in Palestine and Israel has led, I am sorry to say, to fall-out in Europe.” [extract]
– Lord Wallace: “We are all deeply aware at the present moment of the current conflicts in the Middle East, including between Israel and Palestine and the extent to which that spills over to some of the misunderstandings of our discontented young. I say to the noble Lord, Lord Sacks [ed: who said earlier in the debate: “Forgive me if I say that I did not expect, 120 years after the Dreyfus case and 70 years after the Holocaust, that the cry of “Death to the Jews” would be heard again in the streets of France and Germany.”], that I went to address the Board of Deputies before the last election on behalf of my party and said, among other things, that we all have to understand that Jerusalem is a holy city for three faiths. I was heckled by someone who said, “No it isn’t. It’s the eternal city of the Jews”. We all recognise that there are some great sensitivities here, with different understandings of the past, and that what some call Judea and Samaria others call the West Bank and others call the Holy Land. They are matters that we cannot get away from and have to address.” [extract]
3. Baroness Tonge: What recent discussions have HMG had with other European governments, following the failure of negotiations, concerning the use of economic sanctions as a way to end Israel’s occupation of the Occupied Territories?
4. Baroness Tonge: What representations will HMG make to Israel concerning deaths of and injuries to civilians in Gaza between 7 and 9 July?
5. Baroness Tonge: What action are HMG taking to encourage a halt to the missile strikes on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza?
6. Lord Hylton: Do HMG intend to call on all parties to make an immediate cessation of hostile acts out of and into Gaza, with independent verification?
7. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of the report by OCHA on the amount of funding needed to cover out of stock medical supplies and medical referrals out of Gaza?
8. Baroness Tonge: What discussions will HMG hold with other European governments concerning the case for lifting the blockade of Gaza and ending the occupation of Palestinian territories?
9. Baroness Tonge: What action do HMG plan to take to open diplomatic relations with Hamas in order to assess the viability of a long-term truce such as Hamas offered in 2006? [Baroness Warsi: “Our policy towards Hamas is clear – we have no contact with Hamas, which is a proscribed terrorist organisation. Hamas must renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept previously signed agreements. Hamas must make a credible movement towards these conditions, which remain the benchmark against which their intentions are judged, before we consider a change in our stance.”] [ed: compare with: “The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades have been listed as a proscribed organization under the Terrorism Act since 2001, but Hamas as a whole is not listed.”
WEDNESDAY 23 JULY 2014
1. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to Israel concerning the bombing of the house and private clinic of the Director General of Shifa Hospital, and the Israeli government’s plans to rehouse the people displaced?
Lords Written Answers
TUESDAY 22 JULY 2014
1. Questions to the Foreign Secretary, in whose absence Tobias Ellwood answered questions on Israel/Palestine from:
– Simon Danczuk, Anne McGuire, Steve McCabe, Bob Russell, Andy McDonald, Alistair Burt, Richard Ottaway, John Howell, Martin Horwood, Peter Hain, Robert Halfon, Gerald Kaufman, Richard Benyon, Douglas Alexander;
Hansard video: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=15788 @ 00:54
Commons Oral Answers
2. Summer Adjournment:
– Jim Fitzpatrick: “The final item I want to raise is Gaza. I know that we had an extensive statement and question and answer session yesterday afternoon with the Prime Minister, and that the former Foreign Secretary, the right hon. Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), made a statement last Monday. I also know that Gaza was raised during Foreign Office questions earlier, but I did not get a chance to come in this morning. I just want to reinforce the interest I have already shown by signing the early-day motion, by my question to the Prime Minister yesterday and by my letter to the Foreign Office 10 days ago. I advise the House that I have had more than 1,200 —it is probably going on for 1,400—e-mails from constituents on this matter alone over the eight days from when the latest Israeli action started to Sunday just gone…. The whole House recognises Israel’s right to defend itself, but with its level of equipment, technology and intelligence, the targeting of hospitals, beaches, schools and residential apartments just does not seem proportionate. I do not think that anybody could possibly say that it looks proportionate. The right to defend is one thing; the mass killings that are going on are something else.” [extract]
– Bob Blackman: “While I am on the subject of international affairs, I cannot but mention what is going on in Gaza, and what has led to this terrible humanitarian tragedy. We must not forget that three Israeli teenagers were brutally murdered, and that responsibility lies with the despicable terrorist organisation Hamas. We must remember that the Israeli Government accepted every single proposal for a ceasefire, and Hamas refused because it regards a ceasefire as a surrender. We in Britain must ensure that not a single penny of taxpayers’ money goes to Hamas or its supporters, and I shall continue to press Ministers on that. We must ensure that Israel’s security is safeguarded.” [extract]
– Tom Brake: “I agree with what the Deputy Prime Minister said on this issue [of Gaza]. First, we must condemn absolutely what Hamas is doing. Hamas needs to stop launching rockets at Israel. At the same time, Israel must stop the military strikes it is conducting on densely populated areas, because it is inevitable that they will lead to an unacceptable level of civilian casualties.” [extract]
3. Backbench Debate: Refugee Camps – tabled by Pauline Latham:
– Pauline Latham: Gives talks of her visits to refugee camps during the past year, focusing on Zaatari camp, and concluding thus: “I have not yet mentioned the current crisis in Gaza. People there are living in schools because they have had to flee their homes. DFID should consider what money it can forward to those vulnerable people, who probably have no homes to go back to now because there has been so much bombing. They are in a desperate situation. I hope that the Minister will take back to the Department my feeling, which is that I should particularly like it to get involved and help the Palestinian people to have as much of a normal life as they can under the circumstances.”
– Meg Hillier: A young man, Chris, who is going to Palestine, came to visit me at my surgery yesterday. He said, “Remember that a lot of the people in those camps have already been displaced once. They are being displaced again.” [extract]
– David Ward devotes his entire speech to Jerash camp in Jordan: “The Gazans I will be talking about are those who fled in 1967, which causes particular problems for them with citizenship, but there are 1.8 million or so Gazans who cannot flee from Gaza today. They are hemmed in by air, sea and land by what many regard to be a brutal and powerful military force, and they are at the mercy of that force. Our thoughts must be with them, as they should be with innocent Israelis who are caught up in this and are under threat from rocket fire in retaliation—others would deny this—for the suppression. Either way, whatever the reason, it must be condemned. Hopefully, more and more innocent Israelis will see that the way to their security is not through military or other suppression of the Palestinians.” [extract]
– Jim Shannon: “The situation at the camp in the Gaza strip, which is home to 110,000 refugees, is fairly bleak, with some 90% of the water unfit for human consumption.” [extract]
– Guy Opperman: “We debate the issue on 22 July with conflict in Gaza and Israel, with no cessation of rockets or hostilities, no durable ceasefire and no progress to a two-state solution.” [extract]
– Lyne Featherstone: “Gaza was mentioned. Currently, only UNRWA, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society have sufficient access even to respond. DFID is funding both UNRWA and the ICRC, and we have increased funding to both in response to the crisis. More than 100,000 people are now taking shelter in schools and communal buildings under the aegis of UNRWA. The Secretary of State announced £2 million of funding yesterday to the flash appeal, which was launched by UNRWA, but it is a moving situation, as I am sure my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford East appreciates. It is relatively new.
On the Palestinian refugees from Syria, many of them have fled Syria to Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and elsewhere. They receive assistance from UNRWA in Lebanon and Jordan, and from the UNHCR in Egypt, because UNRWA does not have a mandate in Egypt. There are reports that the Palestinian refugees are finding it increasingly difficult to cross the borders out of Syria, which is a cause for concern. The UK has so far provided £25.5 million to UNRWA to assist it in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.” [extract]
4. Seema Malhotra: What recent assessment has Foreign Secretary made of the situation in Israel and Palestine?
5. Roger Godsiff: Will the Foreign Secretary introduce an embargo on the export of weapons to Israel?
6. Paul Flynn: What reports has Foreign Secretary received on the number of (a) Palestinian children killed by Israeli military attacks on Gaza and (b) Israeli citizens killed by rockets launched into Israel from Gaza since 1 July 2014? [Tobias Ellwood’s answer to this question is contradicted by his answer to No. 20 below]
7. Roger Godsiff: What guarantees has Foreign Secretary sought from Israel that weapons sold to it by the UK will not be used on civilians in Palestine; and what assessment has he made of the reliability of those guarantees?
8. Andrew Rosindell: What recent steps has FCO taken to reduce tension in the on-going conflict between Israel and Palestine?
9. Nigel Dodds: What recent discussions has Foreign Secretary had with his counterparts in other NATO member states on the Middle East?
10. Paul Flynn: What assessment has Foreign Secretary made of the reasons why Hamas has orchestrated the firing of rockets at Israel?
11. Paul Flynn: What steps has FCO taken to substantiate allegations made by Hamas in Gaza that Israel has attacked water wells, water purification plants and sewage treatment plants in Gaza?
12. Katy Clark: Will Foreign Secretary investigate whether any UK manufactured weapons or components have been used by Israeli military forces during Operation Protective Edge?
13. Katy Clark: What assessment has Foreign Secretary made of whether Israeli military action during Operation Protective Edge has complied with its international legal obligations?
14. Khalid Mahmood: What assessment has Foreign Secretary made of the implications for his policies of the statement of 10 July 2014 by the Secretary General of the UN on the escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine?
15. Simon Danczuk: What recent talks have FCO Ministers had with (a) Israeli and (b) Palestinian leaders on the current situation in Gaza?
16. Jim Cunningham: What information does FCO hold on the number of (a) Palestinians and (b) Palestinian children who have been killed as a result of Israeli military action in the last 10 years?
17. Jeremy Corbyn: Will Foreign Secretary make an assessment of the potential effects of the imposition of economic sanctions on Israel on that country’s (a) actions towards and (b) relations with the areas governed by the Palestinian Authority since the beginning of Israel’s current military action in Gaza?0
18. Jeremy Corbyn: What reports has FCO received about the role of Egyptian border control policies in contributing to the shortage of basic medical supplies in Gaza?
19. Jeremy Corbyn: What reports has FCO received of water supplies and sewage plants being the targets of Israeli air strikes in Gaza during the recent Israeli military action?
20. Jeremy Corbyn: What reports has Foreign Secretary received on the number of Israeli citizens killed by rockets launched from Gaza into Israel since the beginning of Israel’s current military action in Gaza?
21. Jeremy Corbyn: What steps has FCO taken to encourage the Israeli Government to end the occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza since the beginning of Israel’s current military action in Gaza?
22. Jeremy Corbyn: What steps has FCO taken to discourage the continued construction of illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories since the beginning of Israel’s current military action in Gaza?
23. Paul Flynn: What assistance has the UK given to the developments of the SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) project; and what collaborative scientific research projects does the UK support between Israel, Iran and the Palestinian Authority?
Nos 4-23 Commons Written Answers
24. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to the government of Israel concerning the targeting of its air strikes on Gaza?
25. Baroness Tonge: What plans do HMG have to increase the safety of civilians in Gaza, in the light of the possibility of ground troops being deployed there?
- Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to the government of Israel concerning the reported shooting of Adam Eriqat with a rubber bullet in Abu Dis, and the impact of the new military checkpoint near Ma’ale Adumim on the time taken for his ambulance to reach hospital?
Lords Written Answers
MONDAY 21 JULY 2014
Questions on Gaza were asked by:
Peter Hain, Gerald Kaufman, Caroline Lucas, Jeremy Corbyn, Frank Dobson, David Winnick, Richard Ottaway, Louise Ellman, Richard Burden, Khalid Mahmood, Kate Hoey, Crispin Blunt and Seema Malhotra, Mark Hendrick, Stella Creasy, Rushanara Ali, Mark Pritchard, Stephen Timms, Bob Russell, Geoffrey Robinson, Liam Byrne, Jason McCartney, Mike Weir, Jim Dowd, Steve Brine, Andy Slaughter, Jack Dromey, Lyn Brown, Jim Fitzpatrick, Robert Halfon, Stephen Doughty, Yasmin Qureshi, John Howell, Lilian Greenwood, Kate Green, Steve Baker, Tom Clarke, Clive Efford, Ian Murray, Rehman Chishti, Robin Walker, Shabana Mahmood, Andrew Love, Gavin Shuker, Grahame M Morris, Debbie Abrahams
Points of Order were raised by Caroline Lucas and Jeremy Corbyn . Throughout his answers David Cameron repeatedly asserted that yes, Israel is obliged to show restraint but Hamas is to blame for launching rockets against Israel and for not accepting the Egyptian ceasefire. A couple of times he noted that “the Israelis will be watching the debates in this House”
Commons Oral Answers
2. Paul Flynn: What reports has DfID Secretary received on projects in Gaza funded by (a) her Department and (b) the EU which have been damaged or destroyed by Israeli military hardware in July 2014; and what representations has she made to the Israeli government on this matter?
Commons Written Answers
3. Prime Minister’s Statement on Ukraine and Gaza repeated in the Lords by Baroness Stowell with Baroness Royall replying for the Opposition.
Questions on Gaza were put by Lord Warner, Bns Deech, Bns Morris of Bolton, Bns Symons, Bns Falkner, Lord Campbell-Savours, Lord Steel, Lord Williams of Baglan.
Lords Oral Answers
4. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to the government of Israel concerning the damage to water facilities and a pumping station in Gaza?
5. Baroness Tonge: What steps are HMG taking to ensure that sufficient medical supplies and surgical equipment are sent to Gaza to cope with the escalating number of casualties there, and that there are sufficient fuel supplies to work generators?
Nos 4-5 Lords Written Answers