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Palestinians: Religious Freedom

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL15441, tabled on 30 April 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about Palestinian Christians in Gaza being denied permits to travel to worship in Bethlehem or Jerusalem; and what action they will take to preserve religious freedom in the Palestinian Occupied Territory.

Answered on

13 May 2019

The UK remains committed to freedom of movement for those wishing to pursue religious ceremonies and purposes. We understand that in April Israel provided some permits for Christians to visit holy sites both in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and outside of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. However Israel continues to implement severe restrictions on movement access for Palestinians in Gaza. We regularly raise our concerns about Gaza with the Israeli authorities, urging them to ease movement and access restrictions and work together with the Palestinian Authority and Egypt to see long-term improvements to the situation in Gaza. We encourage Israel to continue to promptly issue permits regularly to both Christians and Muslims in Gaza, and uphold freedom of religion and belief for all.