Israel: Housing

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 21st October 2015.

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Photo of Nicholas Soames Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Israeli government on the planned demolition of the village of Umm al-Hiran.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Government is deeply concerned about the proposals to demolish Bedouin villages in Israel. I visited the Khan al Ahmer Bedouin during my visit in October 2014 and saw the devastating impact resettlement plans had on the communities. Officials at our Embassy in Tel Aviv are monitoring the situation of Umm al-Hiran closely. Embassy officials have also been in contact with the Adalah Legal Centre who continue to provide updates on the legal situation. They have also been in contact with organisations that work within the Bedouin community, such as Itach-Maaki and The Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation-Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace and Development, to help inform the UK’s lobbying of the Israeli authorities on this issue. On 10 September, the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), raised their concerns about the Bedouin with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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