Israel: Palestinians

Department for International Development written question – answered on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what estimate she has made of the amount of international aid funding allocated to properties at Khirbet al-Halawah that were demolished by Israeli forces; what (a) discussions she has had with her counterparts in the EU and (b) representations she has made to the Israeli Government on those demolitions; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), nine structures have been demolished in Khirbet al-Halawah so far in 2018, of which four were donor funded. We have not made an estimate of the value of international aid allocated to these structures. No structures directly funded by the UK in the West Bank in recent years have been demolished. Whilst we have not raised these specific demolitions with counterparts in the European Union or the Government of Israel, we continue to raise concerns with the Israeli authorities about demolitions and evictions of Palestinians from their homes in general, which cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, calls into question Israel’s commitment to a viable two-state solution, and, in all but the most exceptional cases, are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

The UK supports Palestinian communities at risk of forcible transfer in Area C of the West Bank through a legal aid programme, which helps residents challenge decisions in the Israeli legal system. Additionally, we are supporting Palestinian development in Area C and helping nearly 500 Palestinian families to remain on their land through improving infrastructure and enabling access to education and health services.

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