Caabu Parliamentary delegates ask questions on Palestinian detainees, home demolitions and illegal Israeli settlements

Posted by Caabu on 24 Oct 2016

Caabu Parliamentary delegates from our two most recent delegations to the West Bank have asked questions on Palestinian child detainees, Palestinian home demolitions in Khan al Ahmar and illegal Israeli settlements. 

SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC, who visited in October 2016, raised the issue of Palestinian child detainees in Foreign Affairs Questions:

"Last week on a cross-party visit to the west bank I was deeply concerned by the human rights abuses being perpetrated by the Government of Israel. Can the Foreign Secretary tell me when the follow-up legal report into the Israeli treatment of Palestinian child detainees will be published and outline the reasons for the delay?"

Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood responded:

"The hon. and learned Lady raises an important aspect of what is a very complicated challenge in the middle east that has been rumbling on for far too long. I raised this issue with the Deputy Foreign Minister during my last visit. We have tried to get further access and further conditions put in place to make sure those child detainees are provided with the support they deserve."

In two Parliamentary Questions, Labour MP Matthew Pennycook who visited in September 2016, raised the issue of demolitions in Khan al Ahmar and the construction of new illegal Israeli settlements with the Foreign Office:

"To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on demolitions that took place on 9 October 2016 in the community of Khan al-Ahmar in the Palestinian Occupied Territories."

Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood replied:

"While we have not had any discussions with the Israeli authorities on this specific issue, on 7 September, during a meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Lieberman in London, I raised our concerns about demolitions. The UK's positions on demolitions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is clear: such demolitions cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians; are harmful to the peace process; and are, in all but the most exceptional of cases, contrary to international law."

Pennycook also asked:

"To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the press statement issued by the Minister for the Middle East and Africa on 5 October 2016, entitled Minister for the Middle East statement on plans to construct a new settlement in the West Bank, what discussions he has had with the government of Israel on preventing illegal settlement activity in the Palestinian Occupied Territories."

Ellwood responded:

"The Foreign Secretary, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Mr Johnson), raised our concerns over new settlements with the Israeli Prime Minister when he met him in Jerusalem on 30 September. On 7 September, during a meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Lieberman in London, I also raised our concerns about settlements. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv also regularly raises our concerns with the Israeli authorities on the continued expansion of settlements in the West Bank."