Results 1–20 of 6848 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Alistair Burt

Palestinian Education System — [Sir Christopher Chope in the Chair] (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir Christopher, as always. I thank the right hon. Member for Enfield North (Joan Ryan) for securing the debate. I shall not be able to answer all her questions this afternoon. The time I had available to prepare was cut short because earlier in the main Chamber I had to deal with an urgent question about the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar....

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: This morning, officials from our embassy in Tel Aviv and from our consulate general in Jerusalem visited Khan al-Ahmar to express our concern and demonstrate the international community’s support for that community. Once there, they did indeed observe a bulldozer, which began levelling the ground. While we have not yet witnessed any demolition of structures, it would appear that...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: As the hon. Gentleman set out, this is an area of land that many of us know quite well from visits made over a lengthy period. This is a community that was moved before and moved to settle where they are, unable to get planning permission under Israeli planning law and therefore they built the settlement they did. The discussion that has taken place since the formation of the settlement has...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: The short answer to the last part of my right hon. Friend’s question is yes. The wider issue that he raised—and he put this extremely well in the Westminster Hall debate last week—was the contrast between an Israel for which many of us feel very deeply, and which we believe has many admirable qualities, and some of its actions which seem to go against that history and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: I thank the right hon. Lady for what she has said. I agree with many of her remarks. The danger that she identifies of a two-state solution slipping away has, of course, been potentially real for some time. Individual actions such as this are doubly difficult to understand and accept at a time when we have all been anticipating a development that would be workable and allow us to move...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: My right hon. Friend has been, and is, a good friend of the state of Israel, as many of us have been over many years, and I can sense the pain behind his question. We do indeed rightly hold a democracy to high standards and will continue to do so.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his comments and the way in which he put them. At such a fragile time, it is difficult to see what steps can be taken next, after what will be seen as a provocative gesture, that would make it still viable to keep working on the solution we want to see, but that still remains a possibility. There was much talk when Jerusalem was recognised by the United...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: The American envoys have been in regular contact both with officials and the Foreign Secretary and on occasions with myself. They have kept many of the proposals very close to their chest. We have said that it is very important that they should continue to engage with the Palestinian Authority and we would again seek that, although everyone can understand why those circumstances are...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: I do not know whether it is appropriate to answer in the terms that the right hon. Gentleman has offered. He poses his own question, which I think will be out there for many others to consider. We remain clearly very attached to Israel as an ally in many respects in terms of defence and security particularly in what is a difficult region, but, as is sometimes the case even with the closest...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: My right hon. Friend has experience of government and of relationships with those in the region and understands the background of which he speaks. It does make it all difficult, but I say to him that we have not all given up on the prospects of a two-state solution, which, as I have said, I do not see an alternative to, and the UK’s determination to keep in contact with all sides in...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: The short answer to that must be yes, I cannot imagine a conversation between the Prime Minister and the President of the United States that would not cover such a significant world issue, in which of course the United States does indeed have an important part to play.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: I am not sure if the UK is in a position to make that judgment, but certainly, as has been made clear, the United Nations has already said that it could constitute forcible transfer and clearly now that things have actually begun that matter becomes a much sharper one for consideration.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: I say again that it is my view—and, I think, the view of the Government—that we want to keep the opportunity of the two-state solution open and viable. That requires remaining in contact with the Government of the state of Israel. All these issues—the concerns about the building of settlements and their strategic position—are a vital part of the land jigsaw that the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: Both those statements from my hon. Friend are true, as far as they go—[Interruption.]

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: It is just a question of what the background and context might be. The settlements in the area are deemed illegal, but between 2014 and the summer of 2016 just 1.3% of building permits requested by Palestinians in area C were granted, and between 2010 and 2015 only 8% of all building permits in Jerusalem were given in Palestinian neighbourhoods. Practically, this leaves Palestinians with...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: The hon. Lady makes her own points very strongly. It is right that this has been considered a red line, for the reasons that she has set out. It is yet to be seen what the international reaction to this will be.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: My own observation, from my recent visit, is that the separation is growing, particularly between young people. Whereas there are older people in Palestinian areas and in Israel who can talk about living in each other’s villages and about times past, that now seems impossible for some younger people. This is built on the failure over many decades to reach a solution that would allow...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: I hear what the hon. Gentleman says. That is not the policy of the United Kingdom, for reasons that we have given before, but I have indicated that we are in consultation with European colleagues and considering what response there might be to these circumstances.

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: Again, the short answer is a worrying yes. Israel has many friends around the world. I count myself as a friend of the middle east as well as a friend of individual separate states. In my experience, the determination to reach a just solution had slipped down the agenda of the world in recent years, but it has now gone back up the agenda, partly as a result of President Trump’s decision...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Demolition of Khan al-Ahmar (4 Jul 2018)

Alistair Burt: indicated dissent.


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