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Israel: West Bank

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL6838, tabled on 8 March 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what response they have made to the plans announced by the government of Israel in January to appropriate further tracts of agricultural land in the West Bank for illegal settlement building.

Answered on

21 March 2016

While we have not raised this specific issue with the Israeli authorities, the Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), issued a press statement on 22 January to express concern at the Government of Israel’s decision to declare 385 acres of land in the West Bank ‘as state land’.

The UK’s position on settlements is clear. They are illegal under international law, present an obstacle to peace and take us further away from a two-state solution. We will continue to raise our objections to settlements with the Israeli government. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), expressed concern in public comments and in the House of Commons at the Government of Israel’s decision of 6 January to approve the extension of the Gush Etzion settlement.