Palestinian Territories: Radicalisation

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th May 2016.

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Photo of Craig Tracey Craig Tracey Conservative, North Warwickshire 12:00 am, 24th May 2016

What recent assessment he has made of the extent of radicalisation in the Palestinian Territories.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

I condemn all violence and all efforts to incite or radicalise people to commit violence in the middle east. During my most recent visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in February, I raised this issue with the Palestinian Authority and urged them to do more to tackle this issue and make clear their opposition to violence.

Photo of Craig Tracey Craig Tracey Conservative, North Warwickshire

Last week, the Fatah party in Palestine described the terrorist who killed 26 people and wounded more than 80 in a shooting attack at a Israel’s main airport in 1972 as a “hero” and said it was

“proud of every fighter who has joined our mighty revolution” against Israel. Does the Minister agree that the success of the two-state solution that we all want rests upon the Palestinian Authority starting to teach its young people about peaceful coexistence?

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

My hon. Friend makes an important point about peaceful coexistence. It is important that President Abbas condemn statements such as that when they are made. I have noticed a disjunct between the elderly leadership and the youth, who feel disfranchised and so are taking matters into their own hands. I looked into the particular claim that my hon. Friend has raised; I understand that it was placed on Facebook and so was not attributed to a particular Minister, as has been the case in the past. Nevertheless, it should be condemned and removed, as my hon. Friend indicated.

Photo of Richard Burden Richard Burden Shadow Minister (Transport)

Does the Minister agree that people’s expectation that they will be able to carry on living in their own homes would not normally be regarded as a sign of radicalisation? He will know that in the past week he has received a number of parliamentary questions from me and others about the fact that more than 90 Palestinian Bedouins, mostly children, have lost their homes in the village of Jabal al-Baba. He has said in his written answers that the Foreign Office condemns that but also that it has not raised that specific case with the Israeli authorities. Is it not time to do so, not least because the demolished structures are EU funded?

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

I fully concur with the spirit of what the hon. Gentleman has said. I have visited one of the Bedouin camps. I should make it clear that that situation is different from the situation for those based in the occupied Palestinian territories; some are being removed in green line Israel, as well. These people are reliant on farming and so need space, so there is the internal issue of making sure that they are given the same amount of space if there is a requirement for them to be moved.