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Occupied Territories

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL2035, tabled on 13 October 2014

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they are making to the government of Israel about (1) the demolition of homes in the E–1 area and the bulldozing of walls, adjoining houses and land in Khillet al-Qamar and a plan to displace Bedouin in the West Bank; and (2) the destruction of the electricity network in Aqraba following the demolition of houses in al-Tawil in August.

Answered on

23 October 2014

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), raised strong concerns over the plans to move the Bedouin population from Area C with the Israeli Justice Minister on 6 October during his visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories between 5-8 October The issue was also raised by officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv in meetings with senior officials in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli Prime Minister's Office. We regularly make clear, publicly and privately, to Israel our serious concerns about the actual or threatened demolition of Palestinian homes and infrastructure in the West Bank, and the need for a planning process that adequately addresses the needs of Palestinian communities. Demolitions cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians; are harmful to the peace process; and are, in all but the most exceptional of cases, contrary to international humanitarian law. The Fourth Geneva Convention is clear that the destruction of any real or personal property in Occupied Territory is not justified unless it is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations. We also make clear to Israeli officials that forcible transfer would be a breach of International Humanitarian Law and would have serious ramifications on Israel’s international standing.