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Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 28th June 2012.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps he has taken regarding the Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud Sarsak.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We monitored closely Mr Mahmoud Sarsak's hunger strike and were pleased to receive reports that, following a review of his case by the Israeli Supreme Court, Mr Sarsak ended his hunger strike on 18 June as part of a deal that will lead to his release on 10 July.

We have longstanding concerns about the situation and treatment of Palestinians held in Israeli detention, including children. In this regard, we have followed closely the hunger strike by many Palestinian detainees. We welcomed the agreement reached on 14 May to end the mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners. We particularly welcomed Israel's agreement to limit the use of administrative detention and solitary confinement and reinstate family visits for detainees. These important issues, particularly Israel's extensive use of administrative detention, are ones which we have repeatedly raised with the Israeli ambassador and the Israeli Government, including in May with the Israeli Foreign Minister, Vice Prime Minister and National Security Adviser. We will follow closely the implementation of the agreement and its impact on the situation of Palestinian detainees.

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