Caabu delegate Julie Elliott MP asks about impending demolitions of Khan al-Ahmar and Susiya by Israel in Parliament

Posted by Caabu on 18 Oct 2017

Labour MP Julie Elliott (Sunderland Central), who recently returned from a Caabu/Medical Aid for Palestinians delegation to the West Bank asked a question in Foreign Affairs Questions in Parliament on 17 October 2017 about demolitions. settlement expansion and land appropriation in the West Bank: 

"What estimate he has made of the number of instances of demolitions, settlement expansion and land appropriation in the West bank"?

Alistair Burt MP, the joint Foreign Office and Department for International Development Minister responsible for the Middle East, replied:

"We are gravely concerned by demolitions, by the eviction of Palestinians and by the increased pace of settlement advancement, including the discussions this week of plans for 3,000 new settlements units to be constructed on the West Bank. Such actions undermine both the physical viability of the two-state solution and Israel’s commitment to it."

Elliott followed up by referring to her visit to the communities of Khan al-Ahmar and Susiya, and on the EU funding received in these communities:

"I thank the Minister for that answer. I recently visited the communities of Khan al-Ahmar and Susiya in Area C of the west bank, both of which are under threat of demolition. I was surprised that both have received significant investment from the EU and therefore from the British taxpayer. Will the Minister tell me what representations he has made to the Israeli Government about that?"

Burt responded:

"I visited Susiya in August to talk to members of the community about the pressures that they were under. We maintain a continued interest in legal arguments in relation to both Khan al-Ahmar and Susiya, and we regularly make it clear to the Israeli authorities that activities there and other settlement actions are deeply concerning, and undermine the intentions that we all have for a viable two-state solution and a movement towards peace."

Watch in full below:

Alistair Burt also responded to a letter from 26 British parliamentarians about Khan al-Ahmar. Read the letter and his response here

In a letter to Binyamin Netanyahu, Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem warned that demolishing Palestinian Bedouin communities such as Khan al-Ahmar and Susiya, and expelling their residents would constitute a war crime under international law.