FRIDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2014
1. Second reading of Private Members’ bill: International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Bill:
– Michael Moore: “Day in, day out, we see the important work that is done by NGOs, the Department for International Development and others in humanitarian crises around the world, whether in Syria, Gaza, the Philippines following last year’s typhoon or Iraq.” [extract]
– Gordon Brown: “We know that this has been a summer of conflict—six wars around the world—and a summer of carnage for children. When we have 1.5 million child refugees displaced from Syria, with refugees in Iraq, Gaza, the Central African Republic and also South Sudan, how can we possibly justify not making a law that suggests that the small amounts of money that are given by the international community, which can make an absolutely huge difference, should continue?” [extract] [ed: at least one MP, Philip Davies, argued that if aid was really making a huge difference, then the need for it would go down not up.]
– Sir Malcolm Bruce: “The crisis in the middle east has led to a substantial demand for humanitarian relief, of which the UK has been one of the most important sponsors: £600 million of our funding has gone to support refugees in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and of course continues to go to Israel and Palestine. It is unfortunate that other countries with a similar interest to ours in that region—France, in particular—have come nowhere near our level of commitment. It is important that we continue to pressurise these countries to accept their share of the responsibility.” [extract]
Parliament now goes into recess for the party conference season.
Commons and Lords will both return on the afternoon of Monday 13th October.
THURSDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2014
1. William Hague announcing Business of the House: “Monday 13 October—Debate on a motion relating to Palestine and Israel. The subject for this debate was determined by the Backbench Business Committee.” [ed: According to the debate’s proposer, this will be “a 6 hour debate on a votable motion asking the UK Government to recognise the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel. Monday”. Monday 13th October is the first day back after the conference break; the debate will start mid afternoon]
Commons Oral Answers
2. Kashmir debate:
– Steve Baker: “Three foreign policy issues are of acute interest to my constituents: Israel and Palestine, Sri Lanka and Kashmir.” ….. “If we just look at Israel and Palestine for a moment, we see the danger of platitudes combined with inaction. For far too long, it has been possible for the British Government to say that the Israeli settlements in the west bank are illegal and then to do nothing. That double standard has created enormous outrage—great gales of anger.” [extracts]
– Shabana Mahmood: “We have had debates on Israel, Palestine and the recent fighting in Gaza. I see nothing wrong and nothing to be ashamed of in the British Parliament’s having a debate today about the situation in Kashmir.” [extract]
– Jason McCartney: “I am proud of the response from the Department for International Development in troubled spots in the world. I am a staunch defender of that budget, and I support the great things that we are doing in places such as Gaza.” [extract]
– Andrew Griffiths: Rebukes previous speakers in the debate for suggesting that this debate should not be taking place at all. He singles out Barry Gardiner, saying: “I gently point out to him that a look at his Hansard appearances shows that in the last few weeks he has spoken about Gaza, Israel and Ukraine, so there is a precedent for us to talk about international issues.”
3. Lady Hermon: What assessment has Foreign Secretary made of the sources of rockets supplied to Hamas operating in Gaza, and will he make a statement?
4. Katy Clark: How many decisions on standard individual export licence applications for export to Israel were made between 8 July and 31 July 2014; and what proportion of such decisions were approved?
Nos 3-4 Commons Written Questions
WEDNESDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2014
1. The debate on Ukraine, Middle East, North Africa and Security lasted from 12.45 to 7.00pm with contributions from nearly 50 MPs, about a quarter relating to Palestine and Israel. Excerpts of these are attached in two formats for convenience.
For full official Hansard transcript see:
Hansard video @ 12:45:40 http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=15948&player=smooth Duration: 6hrs 15mins
2. Katy Clark: How many standard individual export licenses and open individual export licences permitting exports to Israel were suspended between 8 July and 31 August 2014?
3. Katy Clark: Have the engines used in the IDF unmanned aerial vehicles been developed or enhanced with the assistance of UK technology or components?
4. Andrew Smith: What proportion of the financial contribution to humanitarian aid and reconstruction in Gaza is spent on the purchase of goods and services from Israel?
Nos 2-4 Commons Written Answers
TUESDAY 9 SEPTEMBER 2014
1. Adjournment debate on North Wales Police and Anonymous Blog Site:
– Guto Bebb: “For me the turning point came this summer when the site published a number of libels against me that were picked up by the press in Wales and by other websites. My inbox was flooded with abuse and accusations of a very serious nature. Emotions were high because the original article referred to my position on the Israel-Hamas conflict and as such some of the e-mails received were of the “we know where you live” variety.” [extract]
2. Cyprus debate: [extracts]
– Stuart Burrowes: “One has to recognise, however, that the exploitation of hydrocarbons requires regional stability involving Cyprus, Turkey and Israel, so the fruits of labouring for a solution are immense.”
– Jim Shannon: “We always look for the positive, and should do that today. The main difference today is that a gas field, called the Aphrodite gas field, has been discovered off the southern coast of Cyprus, some 21 miles west of Israel’s notorious Leviathan gas field……Turkey wants to be the transit route for Israeli gas, to provide easy access to international markets, and so it should.”
– Gareth Thomas: “There are, inevitably, regional powers with a crucial role to play. Greece and Turkey are the two most obvious, but Israel, too, has a role. Will the Minister update hon. Members on the discussions he or others have had with those three regional powers?” [ed: Tobias Ellwood’s reply makes no mention of Israel]
3. Andrew Rosindell: What steps is Foreign Secretary taking to support the Israeli government in its campaign against Hamas?
Commons Written Answers
4. Back Bench Business Committee:
– Grahame M Morris, supported by Sir Gerald Kaufman, returns to present for the second time a proposal for a full day’s votable debate on the floor of the House on the motion: That this House recognises the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel. This bid was first presented on 8th April 2014. A rival bid was also presented on the same day by Guto Bebb, Louise Ellman and Sir Alan Beith. [q.v. see http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=15291]. At that time both bids were deferred. This time, after lengthy haggling, Monday 13 or Thursday 16 October are mentioned as possible dates for the debate. Worth a listen. [full transcript attached]
Foreign Affairs Committee questions new Foreign Secretary.
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=15974 @ 3:50
MONDAY 8 SEPTEMBER 2014
1. Andrew Love: What assessment has Foreign Secretary made of the likelihood of use by Israeli forces of equipment containing UK components in breaches of international humanitarian law in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and will he make a statement? [Tobias Ellwood: “We reviewed all existing export licences to Israel during Operation Protective Edge. We found that the vast majority of exports currently licensed for Israel were not for items that could be used by Israeli forces in operations in Gaza in response to attacks by Hamas. On 12 August, the Government announced that 12 licences were identified for components which could be part of equipment used by the Israel Defence Forces in Gaza. As we were unable to clarify whether export licence criteria was being met, we took the decision to suspend this small number of export licences if there was a resumption of significant hostilities. We monitored the situation closely and assessed that the resumption of hostilities when Hamas later broke the ceasefire was not enough to warrant a suspension.”]
Commons Written Answers
2. Katy Clark: What reports has Foreign Secretary received of the use of components for Paveway II bombs manufactured by Raytheon in Scotland by Israeli military forces during Operation Protective Edge?
3. MargaretRitchie: What assessment has FCO made of whether recent Israeli military operations in Gaza are in breach of international law? [Hansard has been notified that Minister’s reply is missing]
4. Katy Clark: Pursuant to the answer of 22 July 2014, when will FCO conduct a full assessment of whether Israeli military action during Operation Protective Edge has complied with its international legal obligations?
5. Richard Burden: What meetings have he or FCO Ministers had with civil society or religious groups based in the UK to discuss the situation in Israel and Palestine since the start of July 2014; and which such groups have met on what dates; (2) what meetings have FCO Ministers had with civil society or religious groups based in the UK which have discussed the situation in Israel and Palestine since 1 July 2014; which organisations attended each such meeting; and when did each such meeting take place?
6. Gregory Campbell: What steps is the UN taking to highlight the ongoing persecution of Christian communities in the Middle East and assist those so persecuted?
Commons Written Answers