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Israel and Palestine

House of Lords written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what further reports they have received from the Israeli and Palestinian authorities on (a) the treatment, and (b) the condition of incarceration, of child prisoners in Israeli prisons.

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

We continue to monitor this issue and often receive reports from various non-governmental organisations including Defence for Children International. The UK remains concerned about the number of children currently being held in Israeli prisons. We raise our concerns with the Israeli Government about the application of due process and the treatment of Palestinian detainees, including where children are involved, on a frequent basis. Most recently my honourable friend Alistair Burt raised this during his recent visit to the region and our ambassador in Tel Aviv has raised the issue of Israel's treatment of Palestinian children with Education Minister Saar and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' principal legal adviser Daniel Taub.

The noble Baroness may be interested to hear that alongside our existing projects, our consulate general in Jerusalem has recently secured funding to fund the UK Bar Committee for Human Rights to come to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in September 2011 to research a report about the treatment of children arrested and detained in the Israeli military court system.

We shall continue to raise our concerns with the Israeli authorities and issue statements when appropriate.

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