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Occupied Territories

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage Israel to end settlement building.

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

It is the Government's longstanding view that settlements are illegal under international law and threaten prospects for a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We have repeatedly condemned Israel's announcements expanding settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and regularly raise our profound concerns over Israel's settlement policy at the highest levels.

I summoned the Israeli ambassador to the UK on 3 December, to set out our concerns about announcements following the Palestinian UN General Assembly resolution, including the unfreezing of planning for the area known as El. Both the Prime Minister, and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), have underlined our concern about Israel's settlement policy in contacts with their counterparts. We will continue to press the next Israeli Government to cease all settlement activity.

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