Israel and Palestine: West Bank

House of Lords written question – answered on 4th July 2012.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will initiate a joint EU demarche about the plan to relocate Palestinian Bedouin now living near Maale Adumin to a semi-urban site adjoining the Jerusalem municipal dump.

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

The Government are concerned about the Israeli Government's plans for the Bedouin of Khan al-Ahmar. We have raised these concerns with the Israeli authorities, including Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

The UK will continue to encourage the Israeli Government to comply fully with their obligations under international law and to ensure that any decision reached on the movement of Bedouin communities should be made with their full consent and not result in a forcible transfer.

This case illustrates the broader problems arising from the Israeli planning restrictions in Area C of the West Bank. The European Union (EU) have formally demarched Israel to outline our shared concern at worrying developments in Area C. These developments were a major theme of discussion at the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 14 May (www.eu-un.europa.eu/articles/ en/article_12170_en.htm), where Ministers expressed particular concern at plans for the forced transfer of Palestinian communities.

We, along with our European partners, will continue to follow this issue closely.

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