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Israel and Palestine: West Bank

House of Lords written question – answered on 12th May 2011.

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Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the rights of Bedouin herding communities in the West Bank; and what discussions they have had with the Government of Israel to ensure freedom of movement for this group.

Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy)

We remain concerned that Israel's minority Arab population, including Bedouin Arab minorities, are suffering institutional, legal and societal inequality and discrimination. We continue to support calls made by the EU and the UN for a genuine and satisfactory solution to these problems.

I raised this issue with Foreign Minister Lieberman when I met with him in Israel in January 2011. Officials have also raised the issue with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the EU delegation office in Israel wrote to the Government of Israel in March 2011 about the demolition of Bedouin villages in the Negev.

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