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Palestine

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 28 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) when she expects the Quartet aid mechanism to the Palestinians to take effect; and if she will make a statement; (78828)

(2) what representations she has made to her US counterparts regarding the form and implementation of the Quartet aid mechanism to the Palestinians; and if she will make a statement.

We welcome the agreement on the Temporary International Mechanism reached at the 15 June European Council, and the 17 June Quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia) statement endorsing it. The full text of the statement can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?Pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelertae/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1150454868713.

The UK has played an important role in establishing the mechanism, holding regular discussions with our EU and Quartet partners, including the US. There are still some technical details to work out, but the European Commission and World Bank are now working to set this up as quickly as possible.

We hope parts of the mechanism will begin to deliver support in July.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in establishing new mechanisms for funding the Palestinian people. (80278)

We welcome the agreement on the Temporary International Mechanism reached at 15 June European Council, and the 17 June Quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia) statement endorsing it. The UK has played an important role in establishing the mechanism, holding regular discussions with our EU and Quartet partners, including the US. There are still some technical details to work out but the European Commission and World Bank are now working to set this up as quickly as possible.

We hope parts of the mechanism will begin to deliver support in July.

A copy of the 17 June Quartet statement can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1150454868713.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of law and order in the West Bank and Gaza. (80279)

We remain concerned by the continuing violence in the West Bank and Gaza. All violence in Israel and the Occupied Territories acts as an obstacle to peace. We call for an end to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on Israeli civilian targets. We also condemn the incursion into Israel by Palestinian militants on 25 June 2006 in which two Israeli soldiers were killed. We support President Abbas’ efforts to restore order, using legally constituted security forces. And we call on the Israeli Government to ensure that any military actions are proportional and ensure that civilians, particularly children, are not harmed.