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Middle East

Volume 403: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the British Consul General was part of the European Consul Delegation of 5 March to Nablus City; and what reports he has received of the damage to the Old City in Nablus left behind by Israeli forces and its impact in (a) economic and (b) cultural terms. [106881]

HM Consul General visited Nablus on 5 March with European colleagues. Israel Defence Force (IDF) action has had a serious effect on the town. Health and education facilities have been seriously disrupted. Homes and businesses have been destroyed, and unemployment, according to the Governor of Nablus, is 63 per cent. We have repeatedly urged the parties to implement UNSCR 1435 which calls for Israeli withdrawal and to stop destruction of Palestinian infrastructure. The roadmap offers a mechanism to help achieve this.