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Middle East (Peace Activists)

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has held with the Israeli Government regarding the safety of peace activists in the Occupied Territories. [113733]

Officials at our Embassy in Tel Aviv and our Consulate-General in Jerusalem have taken up individual cases with the Israeli authorities and will do all they properly can to help British nationals in difficulty in the region.On 11 April, I spoke to the Israeli Ambassador to raise our concerns about the case of Thomas Hurndall, a British peace activist shot in Gaza on 11 April and other cases. On 8 May, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to Silvan Shalom, the Israeli Foreign Minister, about the shooting of Thomas Hurndall (and also of James Miller, a British cameraman). We both called for a full and transparent investigation into the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) shooting to be carried out by the Israeli Military Police. Our Ambassador in Tel Aviv has also raised our concerns locally with the Israeli authorities. The Israeli Government took note of our concerns and promised to co-operate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government has made to the Israeli authorities on the decision to ask peace activists to sign a waiver before entering Gaza. [113696]

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave my hon. Friend, the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Dhanda) today (UIN 113734).