To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the Middle East peace process of Israel's policy of removing structures in the Occupied Palestinian Territories built without permits.
13 July 2015
We assess that demolition of Palestinian structures in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by Israel is harmful to the peace process. Demolitions cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians and in all but the most limited circumstances are contrary to international humanitarian law. The UK raises concerns about demolitions and displacement with the Government of Israel on a regular basis and at the highest levels.
The Government continues 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. This year we have allocated £900,000 for technical assistance to support Palestinian villages currently threatened with demolition action to meet the requirements of the Israeli planning system.