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Occupied Palestinian Territories

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 29th April 2004.

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Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry Chair, International Development Committee 2:30 pm, 29th April 2004

The hon. Lady makes a good point. I hope that this afternoon we will all—collectively and individually—be able to add to the texture of the desperateness that many Palestinians experience in circumstances that are clearly beyond their control. My only concern is that, if I start to describe some of the scenes that I witnessed, I may lose the objectivity that, as a Chairman presenting a unanimous report on behalf of a Select Committee, I am trying to hold to.

It is fair to say that, in their response, the Government agree with the Committee's 53 conclusions and recommendations. However, there are two areas of disagreement, on which I shall briefly comment. It was clear to us that

"The reality is that at the present moment there is no 'peace process' in the Middle East . . . There are, within Israel and the OPT, two groups of people—the 'occupiers' and the 'occupied'.

The fact is that Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have no state, neither de jure, nor de facto; no citizenship; no rights; no remedies, and no one from the international community taking the responsibility to seek to ensure that an occupied people in these circumstances are treated as humanely as possible."