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Gaza: Politics and Government

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 24th January 2008.

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Photo of John Cummings John Cummings Labour, Easington

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made, together with European Union member states' foreign ministers, to Israel on the situation in Gaza; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Kim Howells Kim Howells Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary will be discussing the situation with his European colleagues at the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on 28 January.

The Government continues to believe that Israeli security and Palestinian suffering and hardship need to be addressed together, and they can only be addressed through mutual recognition, which will be vital to long-term stability in the area.

As my right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for International Development said on 21 January:

"The recent escalation of violence between Gazans and Israelis is extremely grave".

Our ambassador in Tel Aviv regularly raises our concerns with the Israeli government about the security and humanitarian situation in Gaza.

My right hon. Friends the Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for International Development also issued statements about the situation in Gaza on 30 October 2007, 11 January 2008 and 21 January 2008.

Most recently, I raised the situation in Gaza with the Israeli ambassador on 17 January 2008.

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