Israel and Palestine

House of Lords written question – answered on 12th March 2012.

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Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Independent Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what impact the statement on 20 February by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, will have on government policy, and in particular his statement that "on the basis of the information that I have received, the treatment to which Mr Adnan has been subjected while under detention amounts to torture and cruel and degrading treatment as these terms are used and understood in relation to the Convention Against Torture, a treaty widely ratified, including by Israel".

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

The Government welcome Richard Falk's 20 February statement. We absolutely condemn any abuse of human rights and take all allegations of human rights abuses extremely seriously. We continue regularly to raise with the Israeli authorities our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. More details can be found at:

The Government followed very closely the situation of Mr Khader Adnan. Our officials in Tel Aviv raised our concerns about Mr Adnan on 16 February with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as with the office of the Israeli National Security Adviser and the Israeli Prison Service. The European Union High Representative issued a statement on his case, on behalf of all member states, on 17 February.

We were pleased that an agreement was reached on 21 February which allowed for Khader Adnan to end his hunger strike. We will continue to encourage the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law, including in their policies on detention and the treatment of Palestinian prisoners. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my honourable friend Mr Burt raised Israel's extensive use of administrative detention with the Israeli Ambassador to London on 23 February and the Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister on 27 February.

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