THURSDAY 27 MARCH 2014
1. Tom Watson: Pursuant to answer of 17 March [ed: to his request for a complete list of countries to which MOD has sent pilots to operate unmanned aircraft – [see link], what type of training was carried out in each country; what was the cost of such training; what identified the period during which the training took place in each host country; where did such training take place; and which unmanned systems were used? [From Mark Francois’ Written Answer we learn – in respect of “Israel” – that the training was carried out using the Hermes 450 system; that it was “mission specific”; and that the precise location where this training was carried out is being “withheld for UK personnel security reasons”.
2. Ian Lucas: What is Foreign Secretary’s policy on establishment of UN Compensation Commission to compensate Jewish and Palestinian refugees affected by ME conflict, and what assessment has he made of potential effect of such a fund on the MEPP?
3. Ian Lucas: When did Foreign Secretary last raise Palestinian refugees and Israeli refugees in talks concerning the MEPP?
4. Andrew Selous: What representations has Foreign Secretary made to Israel on building of 839 new housing units in Ariel announced in March 2014?
Nos 1-4 Commons Written Answers
5. Baroness Tonge: In light of EU’s recent warning that Gaza’s economic and humanitarian conditions will affect regional security in ME, what action do HMG intend to take to insist that the blockade of Gaza be lifted?
6. Lord Hylton: Will HMG make representations to Egypt in respect of the opening of crossing points from Egypt into Gaza for pedestrians and vehicles?
7. Lord Hylton: What representations have HMG made to Israel about upholding the UN Basic Principles on use of force and firearms?
8. Lord Hylton: Did Prime Minister discuss human rights and international law issues during his recent visit to Israel and, if so, with what result?
9. Lord Hylton: What representations are HMG making to Israel about incursions into Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, by members of the IDF?
10. Baroness Tonge: What steps do HMG intend to take in respect of the proposed displacement of Bedouin from the Negev under the Prawer-Begin plan?
11. Lord Hylton: What steps are HMG taking to prevent displacement and transfer of Palestinian Bedouin from E1 section of East Jerusalem, and to prevent further evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes in Sheikh Farah?
12. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of the impact of Palestinian capitalism in Ramallah on economic conditions in the wider WB and on the MEPP?
WEDNESDAY 26 MARCH 2014
1. Robert Halfon: How many rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel in 2013?
2. Richard Burden: What assessment has FCO made of recent Peace Now report “A Disaster-in-the-Making: The (Potential) New Settlements in Hebron”?
3. Ian Lucas: What reports has Foreign Secretary received on a potential new Israeli settlement in Hebron?
4. Alex Cunningham: What plans does DfID Secretary have to provide support to Gaza aquifer to enable it to recover from pollution and damage caused by over-pumping?http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm140326/text/140326w0003.htm#14032691000048
Nos 2-4 Commons Written Answers
5. Lord Judd [in “ME: Syria Refugees” debate]: Does Minister agree that Syrian refugee situation has implications for durability of any peace settlement between Israel and Palestine?
6. Lord Anderson [in “City-city Diplomacy” debate]: City-to-city diplomacy builds on the concept of twinning, which some have sought to politicise, as with Cuba and the WB.
We have also the precedent of, for example, the partnerships for democracy with Morocco and the PA.
Nos 5-6 Lords Debates
7.Baroness Tonge: In light of Prime Minister’s recent announcement that UK will provide business opportunities in WB and skills training for women in Gaza, what consideration have HMG given to assisting those areas in provision of security and access to drinking water?
Lords Written Answers
TUESDAY 25 MARCH 2014
1. Richard Burden: What assessment has Foreign Secretary made of the effect of the proposed new settlement in Hebron on the freedom of movement and human rights of the local Palestinian population and its potential effect on peace negotiations; what discussions has he had on the potential new Hebron settlements with his Israeli counterpart and his counterparts in other EU member states?
2. David Burrowes: What assistance has FCO given to the PA in tackling incitement in the Palestinian Territories?
3. David Burrowes: What representations has Foreign Secretary made to the PA on recent comments by senior Fatah official Abbas Zaki who said God will assemble Jews to be killed by Palestinians?
4. Bob Blackman: What recent assessment has Foreign Secretary made of the PA’s adherence to its Road Map commitment to end incitement against Israel?
Nos 1-4 Commons Written Answers
5. Baroness Tonge: What assessment have HMG made of the ability of Palestinians to access the International Criminal Court (ICC), and will they support increasing such access?
6. Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to Israel concerning a shoot-to-kill policy towards civilians and suspected militants?
7. Lord Bishop of Truro: What assessment have HMG made of the potential impact the recent approval of building permits for 558 new units in East Jerusalem, in Har Homa, Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Zeev on the prospects of Jerusalem becoming the capital of two states, and on the territorial contiguity between East Jerusalem and the southern West Bank?
MONDAY 24 MARCH 2014
1. Foreign Secretary attended 17 March Brussels FAC where Ministers discussed Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) and were briefed by Baroness Ashton on the “unprecedented package” of incentives.
Commons Written Statements
2. Philip Hollobone: How much has DfID contributed to the PA and its general budget in each of the last three years and how are such contributions distributed?
3. Jack Lopresti: How much has DfID allocated in aid to the Palestinian Territories in each of the last five years? [ed: figures given by Alan Duncan do not go beyond 2012]
Nos 2-3 Commons Written Answers
4. Question tabled by Baroness Tonge: What representations have HMG made to Israel about IDF actions towards civilians in the OPTs?
– Baroness Warsi: We have serious concerns about IDF killing and injuring of civilians, policing of non-violent demonstrations and treatment of child detainees, and have repeatedly raised cases with Israel.
– Baroness Tonge: Since last July 44 civilian Palestinians have been killed; many hundreds seriously injured, including 12 year-old Attah al Sabbah, and two young footballers Adam and Johar Halabiyeh. “As well as the usual ineffectual representations” HMG makes to Israel, they should also ask FIFA to impose penalties. Why are we prepared to impose sanctions on Russia for breaking international law but not on Israel, which has been breaking it for decades?
– Baroness Warsi: These matters are taken “incredibly seriously“ by HMG. “There has been a worrying increase in violence in the West Bank. In 2012, nine civilians were killed; in 2013, 27 civilians were killed; and the number of civilians who have been injured is also on the increase.” Yesterday our ambassador spoke with the national security adviser.
– Lord Grocott: The international community has recently taken a dim view of the occupation of one country by a neighbour. Here we have territories occupied for more than 40 years, yet there is not the same level of urgency and commitment to liberate them.
– Baroness Warsi: “Successive government policies about the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps and a settlement for refugees in Jerusalem as a shared capital, have been the same.” We support the Kerry framework agreement, and hope it will be done by around the end of April.
– Lord Hylton: Will HMG to raise more strongly and effectively the IDF’s “use of excessive force, the lack of proportionality and the almost complete impunity“? Will HMG insist on full and independent inquiry into the death of the Palestinian-Jordanian magistrate Raed Zeiter?
– Baroness Warsi: “I understand that there has been some progress, and that Prime Minister Netanyahu has issued a public apology and announced a joint Israeli-Jordanian investigation into the incident. Anger about it has been widespread and that has been communicated to the Israeli authorities.” [extract]
– Lord Palmers of Childs Hill: “Whatever the incidents, the only way forward is an agreement on peace and I hope that the Government will support that.” [extract]
– Baroness Warsi: We support the Kerry framework agreement.
– Lord Turnberg: “The bad behaviour of soldiers from any country is inexcusable.” But Israel makes many efforts to support the Palestinians: WB GDP is rising by about 7% a year; the number of “Arabs” in East Jerusalem and Jerusalem is increasing at a greater rate than the Jewish population; large numbers of Palestinians are treated in Israeli hospitals, as well as wounded from Syria. “Should the UK not be concentrating on pressure on Mr Abbas to continue negotiations so that we can get to a two-state solution that the vast majority of the population in Israel supports?”
– Baroness Warsi: HMG have always recognised positive action; that does not take away from our serious concerns in relation to child detainees, for example, which also concerns Baroness Scotland [ed: who had also risen to speak but didn’t get her chance]
– Lord Dykes: “Israel is a great country with a great people, but unfortunately with a very narrow-minded and reactionary Government.” Will HMG meet with B’Tselem, which has made strong representations to Israel about these unacceptable Palestinian casualties?
– Baroness Warsi: “I am not familiar with that particular human rights group but I will certainly ensure that officials are aware of the work that it is doing.”
5. Lord Hylton: Do HMG consider that IDF has been responsible for illegal use of lethal force on unarmed civilians; if so, what steps will they take to bring to justice the soldiers and those giving them orders; and will they present evidence about killings to the ICC?
6. Lord Bishop of Truro: What representations have HMG made to Israel regarding recent announcement by Jerusalem municipal authorities of their approval of building permits for 558 new units in East Jerusalem, in Har Homa, Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Zeev?
Lords Written Answers