Israel and Palestine: Gaza

House of Lords written question – answered on 21st April 2008.

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Photo of Baroness Northover Baroness Northover Spokesperson in the Lords, International Development, Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (International Development)

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations they have made to the Government of Israel about reports from the International Committee of the Red Cross claiming that the Gaza Strip's sewage system is incapable of handling its waste.

Photo of Lord Malloch-Brown Lord Malloch-Brown Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Africa, Asia and the UN)

We remain gravely concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the poor state of essential services, including water and sanitation. In a briefing to the diplomatic corps on 26 March, Israeli Defence Minister Barak said that he had supported the Gaza sewage project and that Israel would do what it could to complete it.

My right honourable friends the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for International Development issued statements on 11 and 21 January 2008 expressing their deep concern about the humanitarian impact of the restrictions imposed by the Government of Israel on Gaza and urging Israel to lift all restrictions.

My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has also reiterated our concerns in phone calls with Israeli Foreign Minister Livni and Defence Minister Barak in recent weeks.

Our embassy in Tel Aviv continues to raise this issue on a regular basis with the Israelis.

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