Israel and Palestine

House of Lords written question – answered on 7th February 2012.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of Israel about reports of Israeli settlers having broken into Joseph's Tomb, near Nablus, under protection by Israeli soldiers.

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

We are aware of sensitivities over access to Joseph's Tomb in Balata village, east of Nablus. The Israeli army provides regular escorted visits for Israeli settlers to the religious site, co-ordinated with Palestinian Authority security forces.

According to our officials at the British consulate-general in Jerusalem, there have been no reports of Israeli settlers breaking into Joseph's Tomb under protection of Israeli soldiers.

On 27 January, the Palestinian Authority security forces detained five settlers who tried to enter Joseph's Tomb without co-ordination.

We have not made any representations to the Israeli authorities on this issue.

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