Israel: Palestinians

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Independent Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about reports that demolition orders have been delivered to Palestinian-owned houses in the Issawiya neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.

Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Independent Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about reports that structures in the Humsa al Bqai’a Bedouin community have been demolished by the government of Israel; and what support they plan to provide to those affected.

Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Independent Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by Fuad al-‘Amour, the coordinator of Protection and Steadfastness Committees in Masafer Yatta and Southern Hebron hills, on 3 November, about the actions of the Israel Defence Force and the impact on communities living in Masafer Yatta.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are seriously concerned by increasing rates of demolition of Palestinian property by the Israeli authorities. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The Minister for the Middle East and North Africa raised our concern about demolitions with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 29 October, and issued a statement outlining the UK's concern about the demolitions of structures in Humsa Al-Baqai'a on 6 November. Officials from the British Consulate General Jerusalem visited Humsa Al-Baqai'a on 6 November to reiterate UK support for the community. The UK provides funding to the West Bank Protection Consortium, which is coordinating with the Palestinian Red Cross and the United Nations to provide emergency shelter to the community of Humsa Al-Baqai'a, and determine the community's long-term needs. The UK is focused on preventing demolitions and evictions from happening in the first place through our legal aid programme, which supports Bedouin communities and Palestinians facing demolition or home eviction in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. We continue to urge the Government of Israel to develop improved mechanisms for zoning, planning and permitting in Area C for the benefit of the Palestinian population, including by facilitating local Palestinian participation in such processes.

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