To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about the number of permits granted to Christians from Gaza to visit holy sites in Bethlehem and Jerusalem, or to visit family in the West Bank during Easter and Christmas holidays; and what responses, if any, they have received.
1 July 2020
Whilst we have not made representations on this particular issue, our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem do raise issues of religious freedom with the Israeli Government and Palestinian Authority. The Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa also met with representatives of the Holy Land Coordination Group, Bishop Declan Lang and Bishop Christopher Chessun, on 22 June to discuss the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and their work with the Christian community there. The UK recognises that the holy sites of Jerusalem hold particular significance for many groups around the globe, especially the three Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. We are committed to working with all parties to maintain calm, avoid provocation and uphold the Status Quo in order to ensure the safety and security of the holy sites and all who worship and visit there.