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House of Lords written question – answered on 8th June 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 delivery of fuel to Gaza for the commercial market; and what discussions they have had with the Government of Israel regarding this.

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

We are clear that the situation in Gaza is both a tragedy and unsustainable. Working closely with the EU and quartet, we will continue to call on Israel to ease restrictions on access and enable a return to economic normality.

At present, only cooking gas is imported through the Kerem Shalom crossing which is supplied for the commercial sector; all other forms of fuel are imported through the tunnels. We are clear that more needs to be done, including on easing restrictions on exports, construction material imports and the movement of people.

We were encouraged by the Israeli Government's decision to facilitate exports out of Gaza, without which there is little hope of any semblance of normality returning to the lives of Gazans. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development have had talks with Israel about the type and level of exports they hope to achieve in 2011. It is important that this now translates into real changes on the ground.

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